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Go back to: Alaska statutes
Go back to: Title 47. Welfare, Social Services, and Institutions.
Go back to: Chapter 24. Protection of Vulnerable Adults.

Sec. 47.24.016. Surrogate decision makers for vulnerable adults.
 (a) If the department determines under AS 47.24.015 that a vulnerable adult is in need of protective services, but the department cannot obtain the vulnerable adult’s consent to receive the services because the vulnerable adult is unable to consent or lacks decision making capacity, and has no guardian, conservator, attorney-in-fact, trustee, or surrogate for health care decisions under AS 13.52.030 to serve as the vulnerable adult’s surrogate decision maker, the department may select from the following list, in the order of priority listed, an individual who is willing to be the vulnerable adult’s surrogate decision maker for the purpose of deciding whether to consent to the vulnerable adult’s receipt of protective services:
     (1) the vulnerable adult’s spouse, unless the vulnerable adult or the spouse have initiated divorce, dissolution, or legal separation proceedings;

     (2) an individual who lives with the vulnerable adult in a spousal relationship or as a domestic partner and who is 18 years of age or older;

     (3) a son or daughter of the vulnerable adult who is 18 years of age or older;

     (4) a parent of the vulnerable adult;

     (5) a brother or sister of the vulnerable adult who is 18 years of age or older; or

     (6) a close friend or relative of the vulnerable adult who is 18 years of age or older.

 (b) An individual from the list in (a) of this section may not be selected as a surrogate decision maker if
     (1) the department determines that individual does not possess decision making capacity; or

     (2) there are allegations that individual is a perpetrator of the undue influence, abandonment, exploitation, abuse, or neglect of the vulnerable adult.

 (c) If the department intends to select a surrogate decision maker from a priority level in the list in (a) of this section and there is more than one individual at that priority level who is willing to be the surrogate decision maker, those individuals
     (1) may select from amongst themselves, by majority vote, an individual to serve as the surrogate decision maker; or

     (2) as a group may serve as the surrogate decision maker and reach decisions by consensus.

 (d) The department may not continue to provide protective services to a vulnerable adult based on the consent of a surrogate decision maker serving under this section or AS 13.52.030 if the department determines that the vulnerable adult has become able to consent or has regained decision making capacity since the surrogate’s consent was given. The department may continue protective services to a vulnerable adult who has become able to consent or has regained decision making capacity only if the vulnerable adult consents.

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