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WAC 246-840-830

Determination and pronouncement of death by a licensed registered nurse.

A registered nurse may determine and pronounce death, but shall not certify death as defined in RCW 70.58.160 unless the registered nurse is a licensed ARNP as defined in WAC 246-840-300.
(1) A registered nurse may assume responsibility for the determination and pronouncement of death only if there are written policies and procedures relating to the determination and pronouncement of death in the organization with which the registered nurse is associated as an employee or by contract, provided:
(a) The decedent was under the care of a health care practitioner qualified to certify cause of death; and
(b) The decedent was a patient of the organization with which the registered nurse is associated; and
(c) There is a "do not resuscitate order" in the patient's record when the decedent was assisted by mechanical life support systems at the time of determination and pronouncement of death.
(2) A registered nurse who assumes responsibility for the determination and pronouncement of death shall be knowledgeable of the laws and regulations regarding death and human remains which affect the registered nurse's practice of this responsibility.
(3) A registered nurse who assumes responsibility for the determination and pronouncement of death shall:
(a) Perform a physical assessment of the patient's condition;
(b) Insure that family and physician and other caregivers are notified of the death; and
(c) Document the findings of the assessment and notification in all appropriate records.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 70.58.170, 70.58.180 and 2000 c 133. WSR 00-17-179, § 246-840-830, filed 8/23/00, effective 9/23/00. Statutory Authority: Chapter 18.79 RCW. WSR 97-13-100, § 246-840-830, filed 6/18/97, effective 7/19/97.]
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