The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 012 : Persons in Need of Guardianship(Cite as: 14 V.S.A. § 3075)
§ 3075. Consent for medical or dental treatment
(a) A person under guardianship retains the right to make medical and dental decisions unless that right has been restricted pursuant to subdivision 3069(c)(2) of this title.
(b) A person whose right to make medical decisions has been restricted pursuant to subdivision 3069(c)(2) of this section who has the capacity to make a specific medical decision retains the right to make that decision.
(c) Unless an advance directive or the authority of an agent is expressly revoked or modified by the court pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 9718, the advance directive of a person under guardianship shall remain in effect, and the agent shall have sole authority to make health care decisions for the person under guardianship pursuant to 18 V.S.A. chapter 231.
(d) If there is no agent named in the advance directive, or if the office of agent is vacant, the guardian shall follow the instructions contained in the advance directive.
(e) For a person whose right to consent to medical or dental procedures has been restricted pursuant to subdivision 3069(c)(2) of this title, the guardian may give or withhold consent pursuant to this section and subject to any constitutional right of the person under guardianship to refuse treatment.
(f) Consent to the procedure shall be given or withheld consistent with the manner in which the person under guardianship would have given or withheld consent, provided there is sufficient information concerning the person’s wishes. In making this determination, the guardian and the court in reviewing a guardian’s decision under this section shall:
(1) Rely on written and oral expressions of the person under guardianship.
(2) Rely on available information concerning the wishes, values, beliefs, and preferences of the person under guardianship if the person’s written and oral expressions do not provide sufficient information.
(3) Follow the best interests of the person under guardianship if subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection are inapplicable. No decision to withhold or abate medical treatment will be based solely on the age, economic level, or level of disability of the person under guardianship.
(g)(1) The guardian shall obtain prior written approval by the Probate Division of the Superior Court following notice and hearing:
(A) If the person under guardianship objects to the guardian’s decision, on constitutional grounds or otherwise.
(B) If the court orders prior approval for a specific surgery, procedure, or treatment, either in its initial order pursuant to subdivision 3069(c)(2) of this title or anytime after appointment of a guardian.
(C) Except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and unless the guardian is acting pursuant to an advance directive, before withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment other than antibiotics.
(D) Unless the guardian is acting pursuant to an advance directive, before consenting to a do-not-resuscitate order or clinician order for life-sustaining treatment, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9701(6), unless a clinician as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9701(5) certifies that the person under guardianship is likely to experience cardiopulmonary arrest before court approval can be obtained. In such circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the court of the need for a decision, shall obtain the clinician’s certification prior to consenting to the do-not-resuscitate order or clinician order for life-sustaining treatment, and shall file the clinician’s certification with the court after consent has been given.
(2) The requirements of subdivision (1)(C) of this subsection shall not apply if obtaining a court order would be impracticable due to the need for a decision before court approval can be obtained. In such circumstances, the guardian shall immediately notify the court by telephone of the need for a decision, and shall notify the court of any decision made.
(h) The procedures in 18 V.S.A. chapter 181 shall be the exclusive mechanism to obtain approval for administration of nonemergency involuntary psychiatric medication to a person under guardianship. (Added 1979, No. 76, § 15; 2007, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 238a, eff. Feb. 1, 2011; 2013, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. May 10, 2014.)