Alaska Statutes.
Title 8. Business and Professions
Chapter 68. Nursing
Section 395. Determination of Death By Registered Nurse.
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AS 08.68.395. Determination of Death By Registered Nurse.

(a) A registered nurse licensed under this chapter may make a determination and pronouncement of death of a person under the following circumstances:

(1) an attending physician has documented in the person's medical or clinical record that the person's death is anticipated due to illness, infirmity, or disease; this prognosis is valid for purposes of this section for no more than 120 days from the date of the documentation;

(2) at the time of documentation under (1) of this subsection, the physician authorized in writing a specific registered nurse or nurses to make a determination and pronouncement of the person's death; however, if the person is in a health care facility and the health care facility has complied with (d) of this section, the physician may authorize all nurses employed by the facility to make a determination and pronouncement of the person's death.

(b) A registered nurse who has determined and pronounced death under this section shall document the clinical criteria for the determination and pronouncement in the person's medical or clinical record and notify the physician who determined that the prognosis for the patient was for an anticipated death. The registered nurse shall sign the death certificate, which must include the

(1) name of the deceased;

(2) presence of a contagious disease, if known; and

(3) date and time of death.

(c) Except as otherwise provided under AS 18.50.230 , a physician licensed under AS 08.64 shall certify a death determined under (b) of this section within 24 hours after the pronouncement by the registered nurse.

(d) In a health care facility in which a physician chooses to proceed under (a) of this section, written policies and procedures shall be adopted that provide for the determination and pronouncement of death by a registered nurse under this section. A registered nurse employed by a health care facility may not make a determination or pronouncement of death under this section unless the facility has written policies and procedures implementing and ensuring compliance with this section.

(e) Notwithstanding AS 08.68.400 (a)(1), this section applies to a qualified nurse described in AS 08.68.400 (a)(1) who is employed by a federal health care facility.

(f) The Department of Health and Social Services may adopt regulations to implement this section.

(g) In this section,

(1) "determination of death" means observation and assessment that a person is dead, as defined in AS 09.68.120 ;

(2) "health care facility" means a private, municipal, state, or federal hospital, psychiatric hospital, tuberculosis hospital, skilled nursing facility, kidney disease treatment center (excluding freestanding hemodialysis units), intermediate care facility, or Alaska Pioneers' Home or Alaska Veterans' Home administered by the Department of Health and Social Services under AS 47.55.


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