§ 41-41-211 of the Mississippi Code states that a surrogate may make a health-care decision for a patient who is an adult or emancipated minor if the patient has been determined by the primary physician to lack capacity and no agent or guardian has been appointed or the agent or guardian is not reasonably available.

An adult or emancipated minor may designate any individual to act as surrogate by personally informing their supervising health-care provider. In the absence of a designation, or if the designee is not reasonably available, any member of the following classes of the patient’s family who is reasonably available, in descending order of priority, may act as a surrogate:
(a) The spouse, unless legally separated;

(b) An adult child;

(c) A parent; or

(d) An adult brother or sister.

If none of these people are available, an adult who has exhibited special care and concern for the patient, who is familiar with the patient’s personal values, and who is reasonably available may act as a surrogate.

A surrogate must make health-care decisions in accordance with the patient’s individual instructions, if any, and other wishes to the extent known to the surrogate. Otherwise, the surrogate must make the decision in accordance with the surrogate’s determination of the patient’s best interest. In determining the patient’s best interest, the surrogate must consider the patient’s personal values to the extent known to the surrogate.

A surrogate may not be an owner, operator, or employee of a residential long-term health-care institution at which the patient is receiving care unless related to the patient by blood, marriage, or adoption, except in the case of a patient of a state-operated facility who has no person available to act as a surrogate.

A supervising health-care provider may require an individual claiming the right to act as surrogate for a patient to provide a written declaration under penalty of perjury stating facts and circumstances reasonably sufficient to establish the claimed authority.


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