Rhode Island Statute
Health Care Power of Attorney
§ 23-4.10-1 Purpose. – (a) The legislature finds that adult persons have the fundamental
right to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their own medical care.
(b) In order that the rights of patients may be respected even after they are no longer
able to participate actively in decisions about themselves, the legislature declares that the
laws of the state shall recognize the right of an adult person to make a written durable
power of attorney which might include instructing his or her physician to withhold or
withdraw life-sustaining procedures in the event of a terminal condition.
§ 23-4.10-1.1 Definitions. – The following definitions govern the construction of this
(1) "Advance directive protocol" means a standardized, state-wide method developed
for emergency service personnel by the department of health and approved by the
ambulance service advisory board, of providing palliative care to, and withholding life-
sustaining procedures from, a qualified patient.
(2) "Artificial feeding" means the provision of nutrition or hydration by parenteral,
nasogastric, gastric, or any means other than through per oral voluntary sustenance.
(3) "Attending physician" means the physician who has primary responsibility for the
treatment and care of the patient.
(4) "Director" means the director of health.
(5) "Durable power of attorney" means a witnessed document executed in accordance
with the requirements of § 23-4.10-2.
(6) "Emergency medical services personnel" means paid or volunteer firefighters, law
enforcement officers, first responders, emergency medical technicians, or other
emergency services personnel acting within the ordinary course of their professions.
(7) "Health-care provider" means a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise
authorized by the law of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of
business or practice of a profession.