Nebraska Revised Statute 30-3402

Chapter 30


Terms, defined.

For purposes of sections 30-3401 to 30-3432:

(1) Adult shall mean any person who is nineteen years of age or older or who is or has been married;

(2) Attending physician shall mean the physician, selected by or assigned to a principal, who has primary responsibility for the care and treatment of such principal;

(3) Attorney in fact shall mean an adult properly designated and authorized under sections 30-3401 to 30-3432 to make health care decisions for a principal pursuant to a power of attorney for health care and shall include a successor attorney in fact;

(4) Health care shall mean any treatment, procedure, or intervention to diagnose, cure, care for, or treat the effects of disease, injury, and degenerative conditions. Health care shall include mental health care;

(5) Health care decision shall include consent, refusal of consent, or withdrawal of consent to health care. Health care decision shall not include (a) the withdrawal or withholding of routine care necessary to maintain patient comfort, (b) the withdrawal or withholding of the usual and typical provision of nutrition and hydration, or (c) the withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining procedures or of artificially administered nutrition or hydration, except as provided by sections 30-3401 to 30-3432;

(6) Health care provider shall mean an individual or facility licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or professional practice and shall include all facilities defined in the Health Care Facility Licensure Act;

(7) Except as otherwise provided in section 30-4404 for an advance mental health care directive, incapable shall mean the inability to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of health care decisions, including the benefits of, risks of, and alternatives to any proposed health care or the inability to communicate in any manner an informed health care decision;

(8) Life-sustaining procedure shall mean any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention that (a) uses mechanical or other artificial means to sustain, restore, or supplant a spontaneous vital function and (b) when applied to a person suffering from a terminal condition or who is in a persistent vegetative state, serves only to prolong the dying process. Life-sustaining procedure shall not include routine care necessary to maintain patient comfort or the usual and typical provision of nutrition and hydration;

(9) Mental health care shall include, but not be limited to, mental health care and treatment expressly provided for in the Advance Mental Health Care Directives Act;

(10) Persistent vegetative state shall mean a medical condition that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty as determined in accordance with currently accepted medical standards, is characterized by a total and irreversible loss of consciousness and capacity for cognitive interaction with the environment and no reasonable hope of improvement;

(11) Power of attorney for health care shall mean a power of attorney executed in accordance with sections 30-3401 to 30-3432 which authorizes a designated attorney in fact to make health care decisions for the principal when the principal is incapable;

(12) Principal shall mean an adult who, when competent, confers upon another adult a power of attorney for health care;

(13) Reasonably available shall mean that a person can be contacted with reasonable efforts by an attending physician or another person acting on behalf of the attending physician;

(14) Terminal condition shall mean an incurable and irreversible medical condition caused by injury, disease, or physical illness which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, will result in death regardless of the continued application of medical treatment including life-sustaining procedures; and

(15) Usual and typical provision of nutrition and hydration shall mean delivery of food and fluids orally, including by cup, eating utensil, bottle, or drinking straw.

Cross References

  • Advance Mental Health Care Directives Act, see section 30-4401.
  • Health Care Facility Licensure Act, see section 71-401.