Before any physician can follow any “applicable laws and procedures,” the main task at hand is to determine if the patient were competent to give directives AND/OR whether the patient might be suffering from any psychiatric disorder. As an example, two persons present to the ED with terminal illness expressing that they be allowed to return home to die. Both are competent but one presents with symptoms consistent with chronic depressive disorder whereas the other is not. Guess who may be allowed to return home?
There is a medical protocol that all physicians are expected to abide by. The law does not exempt them from bypassing this protocol.