SEC. 41-41-3. Who may consent to surgical or medical treatment or procedures.
It is hereby recognized and established that, in addition to such other persons as may be so authorized and empowered, any one of the following persons is authorized and empowered to consent, either orally or otherwise, to any surgical or medical treatment or procedures not prohibited by law which may be suggested, recommended, prescribed or directed by a duly licensed physician:
(a) Any adult, for himself. For purposes of this section, the term "adult" shall mean any person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older.
(b) Any parent, whether an adult or a minor, for his minor child or for his adult child of unsound mind; however, the father of an illegitimate child cannot consent for said child solely on the basis of parenthood.
(c) Any married person, whether an adult or a minor, for himself, and, where his joinder in the consent of his spouse may be desired or required, with his spouse.
(d) Any married person, whether an adult or a minor, for his spouse of unsound mind.
(e) Any person standing in loco parentis, whether formally serving or not, and any guardian, conservator or custodian, for his ward or other charge under disability.
(f) Any adult for his father or mother of unsound mind; however, an illegitimate child cannot consent for his natural father solely on the basis of the latter's parenthood.
(g) Any emancipated minor, for himself.
(h) Any unemancipated minor of sufficient intelligence to understand and appreciate the consequences of the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures, for himself.
(i) Any female, regardless of age or marital status, for herself when given in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.
(j) Any adult, for his minor brother or sister or for his adult brother or sister of unsound mind.
(k) During the absence of a parent so authorized and empowered, any maternal grandparent and, if the father be so authorized and empowered and be of legitimate birth, any paternal grandparent, for his minor grandchild or for his adult grandchild of unsound mind.
However, no person so authorized and empowered may arbitrarily, obstinately or without reasonable medical justification withhold or refuse his consent. However, nothing contained herein shall be construed to abridge any right of an adult who is not of unsound mind, who is not pregnant, whose wife is not pregnant, and who is not the parent of a minor living child, to refuse such consent as to his own person.
In addition to its usual definitions, the phrase "unsound mind" shall also mean and include, for the purposes of sections 41-41-3 through 41-41-11, a state of mind during which the person affected is unable to understand and appreciate the consequences of the proposed surgical or medical treatment or procedures so as to intelligently determine whether or not to consent to the same, regardless of whether such state of mind is only temporary or has existed for an extended period of time or occurs or has occurred only intermittently and whether or not it is due to natural state, age, shock or anxiety, illness, injury, drugs or sedation, intoxication or other cause of whatever nature.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 7129-81; Laws, 1966, ch. 478, Sec. 1; 1984, ch. 347, eff from and after July 1, 1984.