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Definitions

Advance Directives Terms and Definitions

Term Definition
agent The person you name in your durable power of attorney for health care to make health care decisions for you. Also called an attorney-in-fact or proxy. This person does not have to be a lawyer.
capacity Having the mental competency to execute a will or some other document at the time the will was signed and witnessed. The ability to resist the pressures or domination of any person who may try to use undue influence on the person executing the document.
comfort care "(1) Nutrition when administered to diminish the pain or discomfort of a principal, but not to postpone death; (2) Hydration when administered to diminish the pain or discomfort of a principal, but not to postpone death; or (3) Any other medical or nursing procedure, treatment, intervention, or other measure that is taken to diminish the pain or discomfort of a principal, but not to postpone death." ORC section 1337.11(C)
execute With regard to a durable power of attorney for health care, execute means doing all of the following: (1) properly completing the document; (2) signing it or acknowledging your signature in the presence of a notary public or two witnesses who meet the legal requirements to be a notary or witness; (3) having the document signed by either a notary public or two witnesses who meet the legal requirements to be a notary or witness; and (4) dating the document.
health care "Any care, treatment, service, or procedure to maintain, diagnose, or treat an individual's physical or mental condition or physical or mental health." ORC section 1337.11(G)
incapacity Lacking the ability to understand one's actions in making a will, executing some other document or entering into an agreement.
incompetent Incompetent for purposes of the durable power of attorney for health care is defined by ORC section 1337.11(O) to have the same meaning as defined by ORC section 2111.01(D): "any person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, or mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person's self or property or fails to provide for the person's family or other persons for whom the person is charged by law to provide, or any person confined to a correctional institution within this state."
of sound mind At the present time, you have the capacity to make informed health care decisions for yourself, and you understand the basic purpose of the document you are signing and the consequences of doing so.
permanently unconscious state "A state of permanent unconsciousness in a principal that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as determined in accordance with reasonable medical standards by the principal's attending physician and one other physician who has examined the principal, is characterized by both of the following: (1) The principal is irreversibly unaware of himself and his environment; and (2) There is a total loss of cerebral cortical functioning, resulting in the principal having no capacity to experience pain or suffering." ORC section 1337.11(V)
principal The person who executes a durable power of attorney for health care.
terminal condition

"An irreversible, incurable, and untreatable condition caused by disease, illness, or injury from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as determined in accordance with reasonable medical standards by a principal's attending physician and one other physician who has examined the principal, both of the following apply: (1) There can be no recovery; and (2) Death is likely to occur within a relatively short time if life-sustaining treatment is not administered." ORC section 1337.11(BB)

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