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TITLE 8. DEATH AND DISPOSITION OF THE BODY

SUBTITLE A. DEATH CHAPTER 671.

DETERMINATION OF DEATH AND AUTOPSY REPORTS SUBCHAPTER A.

DETERMINATION OF DEATH 671.001.

Standard Used in Determining Death (a) A person is dead when, according to ordinary standards of medical practice, there is irreversible cessation of the person's spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions. (b) If artificial means of support preclude a determination that a person's spontaneous respiratory and circulatory functions have ceased, the person is dead when, in the announced opinion of a physician, according to ordinary standards of medical practice, there is irreversible cessation of all spontaneous brain function. Death occurs when the relevant functions cease. (c) Death must be pronounced before artificial means of supporting a person's respiratory and circulatory functions are terminated. (d) A registered nurse or physician assistant may determine and pronounce a person dead in situations other than those described by Subsection (b) if permitted by written policies of a licensed health care facility, institution, or entity providing services to that person. Those policies must include physician assistants who are credentialed or otherwise permitted to practice at the facility, institution, or entity. If the facility, institution, or entity has an organized nursing staff and an organized medical staff or medical consultant, the nursing staff and medical staff or consultant shall jointly develop and approve those policies. The board shall adopt rules to govern policies for facilities, institutions, or entities that do not have organized nursing staffs and organized medical staffs or medical consultants. Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 201, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 965, 8, eff. June 16, 1995.

671.002. Limitation of Liability (a) A physician who determines death in accordance with Section 671.001(b) or a registered nurse or physician assistant who determines death in accordance with Section 671.001(d) is not liable for civil damages or subject to criminal prosecution for the physician's, registered nurse's, or physician assistant's actions or the actions of others based on the determination of death. (b) A person who acts in good faith in reliance on a physician's, registered nurse's, or physician assistant's determination of death is not liable for civil damages or subject to criminal prosecution for the person's actions. Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 678, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 201, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 965, 9, eff. June 16, 1995.

Copyright 2000 by the State of Texas

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