"This time, with a PAD, I did not receive any treatments that I did not want. They were very respectful. I really felt like the hospital took better care of me because I had my PAD. In fact, I think it's the best care that I've ever received."Read More...
New Hampshire Q and A
Ten commonly asked questions about PAD's for New Hampshire
Please note: the following 10 FAQs are designed to provide a quick and accessible guide to what your state’s Statutes say – or do not say – about PADs. The FAQs do not attempt to provide a complete picture of the law in your state, nor can they take the place of legal advice. The answers were accurate when written in December 2006.
1. Can I write a legally-binding psychiatric advance directive (PAD)?
Yes, by appointing an agent. New Hampshire’s Written Directives for Medical Decision Making for Adults Without Capacity to Make Health Care Decision statute allows you to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incompetent to make those decisions yourself. Healthcare decisions may include decisions about mental health. Although not mandatory, it is recommended that you use the statutory Durable Power of Attorney form to appoint your agent.
2. Can I write advance instructions regarding psychiatric medications and/or hospitalization?
Your agent must use substituted judgment wherever he/she knows of your wishes. If your wishes are not known, your agent must act in your best interests.
Yes. As explained above, it is not possible to write advance instructions only. If you wish to create a PAD, you must appoint an agent, but the extent to which you also document your decisions is up to you.
No. The statute states that the agent’s authority goes into effect as soon as you “lack capacity to make health care decisions”. This is determined by your attending physician, who must document that decision in your medical notes.
Yes. Your provider may decline to treat you in accordance with your agent’s instructions if they are “contrary to the moral or ethical principles or other standards” of the institution. Further, although not set out in the statute, it is likely that your provider could decline to follow your agent’s instructions if you were committed under New Hampshire’s involuntary treatment laws.
Your document is valid until revoked. You may revoke it at any time by telling your providers of that intention or by making a new document. If you appoint your spouse as your agent and subsequently become divorced, you must amend your document to make it clear who should serve as your agent.