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Law

ME House Paper 822

Notary Law Update: ME House Paper 822

State: Maine

Summary:
House Bill 822 authorizes alternative procedures for signing an advance directive by a principal with an infectious disease who is confined, but these procedures do not apply to a directive that is notarized.

Effective:  October 17, 2021

Chapter: Public Law 452

Affects:
Creates Section 5-803-A of Title 18 C of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.

Changes:
  1. Authorizes a principal who is confined with an infectious disease at a health care facility to direct another individual located beyond the isolation area but in the same facility to sign the principal’s name to an advance health care directive.
  2. Authorizes a principal to use 2-way audiovisual communication technology to direct the individual to sign and to allow the signing to be witnessed.
Analysis:

House Paper 822, which became law on July 13, 2021, without the Governor’s signature, is an accommodation for signing advance medical directives in a health care facility when the principal has an infectious disease and is isolated in the facility due to it. It allows an individual outside the isolation area to sign on behalf of the principal in the isolation area. It also allows the principal in the isolation area to use audiovisual communication to communicate their intentions for having another individual sign for them. Notaries are used to making accommodations to assist ill and infirmed signers in a hospital setting, but we are writing a new law update on this new Maine law because of what HP 822 does not allow. The last line of the bill states: “This section does not apply to any other documents or settings or when advance health care directives are notarized.” Maine Notaries Public should be aware that this is not a procedure they can use for notarization of an advance health care declaration in the state of Maine.

Read the bill text.

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