DECLARATION TO PHYSICIANS
Declaration to physicians.
Revocation of declaration.
Duties and immunities.
Revocation of do-not-resuscitate order.
Guardians and health care agents.
Specifications and distribution of do-not-resuscitate bracelet.
AUTHORIZATION FOR FINAL DISPOSITION
Control of final disposition of certain human remains.
In this chapter:
“Attending physician" means a physician licensed under ch. 448
who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.
“Department" means the department of health services.
“Health care professional" means a person licensed, certified or registered under ch. 441
“Inpatient health care facility" has the meaning provided under s. 50.135 (1)
and includes community-based residential facilities, as defined in s. 50.01 (1g)
“Life-sustaining procedure" means any medical procedure or intervention that, in the judgment of the attending physician, would serve only to prolong the dying process but not avert death when applied to a qualified patient. “Life-sustaining procedure" includes assistance in respiration, artificial maintenance of blood pressure and heart rate, blood transfusion, kidney dialysis and other similar procedures, but does not include:
The alleviation of pain by administering medication or by performing any medical procedure.
“Persistent vegetative state" means a condition that reasonable medical judgment finds constitutes complete and irreversible loss of all of the functions of the cerebral cortex and results in a complete, chronic and irreversible cessation of all cognitive functioning and consciousness and a complete lack of behavioral responses that indicate cognitive functioning, although autonomic functions continue.
“Terminal condition" means an incurable condition caused by injury or illness that reasonable medical judgment finds would cause death imminently, so that the application of life-sustaining procedures serves only to postpone the moment of death.
DECLARATION TO PHYSICIANS
In this subchapter:
“Declaration" means a written, witnessed document voluntarily executed by the declarant under s. 154.03 (1)
, but is not limited in form or substance to that provided in s. 154.03 (2)
“Feeding tube" means a medical tube through which nutrition or hydration is administered into the vein, stomach, nose, mouth or other body opening of a qualified patient.
“Qualified patient" means a declarant who has been diagnosed and certified in writing to be afflicted with a terminal condition or to be in a persistent vegetative state by 2 physicians, one of whom is the attending physician, who have personally examined the declarant.
History: 1995 a. 200
Declaration to physicians. 154.03(1)
Any person of sound mind and 18 years of age or older may at any time voluntarily execute a declaration, which shall take effect on the date of execution, authorizing the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures or of feeding tubes when the person is in a terminal condition or is in a persistent vegetative state. A declarant may not authorize the withholding or withdrawal of any medication, life-sustaining procedure or feeding tube if the declarant's attending physician advises that, in his or her professional judgment, the withholding or withdrawal will cause the declarant pain or reduce the declarant's comfort and the pain or discomfort cannot be alleviated through pain relief measures. A declarant may not authorize the withholding or withdrawal of nutrition or hydration that is administered or otherwise received by the declarant through means other than a feeding tube unless the declarant's attending physician advises that, in his or her professional judgment, the administration is medically contraindicated. A declaration must be signed by the declarant in the presence of 2 witnesses. If the declarant is physically unable to sign a declaration, the declaration must be signed in the declarant's name by one of the witnesses or some other person at the declarant's express direction and in his or her presence; such a proxy signing shall either take place or be acknowledged by the declarant in the presence of 2 witnesses. The declarant is responsible for notifying his or her attending physician of the existence of the declaration. An attending physician who is so notified shall make the declaration a part of the declarant's medical records. No witness to the execution of the declaration may, at the time of the execution, be any of the following:
Related to the declarant by blood, marriage or adoption.
Have knowledge that he or she is entitled to or has a claim on any portion of the declarant's estate.
Directly financially responsible for the declarant's health care.
An individual who is a health care provider, as defined in s. 155.01 (7)
, who is serving the declarant at the time of execution, an employee, other than a chaplain or a social worker, of the health care provider or an employee, other than a chaplain or a social worker, of an inpatient health care facility in which the declarant is a patient.
The department shall prepare and provide copies of the declaration and accompanying information for distribution in quantities to health care professionals, hospitals, nursing homes, county clerks and local bar associations and individually to private persons. The department shall include, in information accompanying the declaration, at least the statutory definitions of terms used in the declaration, statutory restrictions on who may be witnesses to a valid declaration, a statement explaining that valid witnesses acting in good faith are statutorily immune from civil or criminal liability, an instruction to potential declarants to read and understand the information before completing the declaration and a statement explaining that an instrument may, but need not be, filed with the register in probate of the declarant's county of residence. The department may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of preparation and distribution. The declaration distributed by the department of health services shall be easy to read, the type size may be no smaller than 10 point, and the declaration shall be in the following form, setting forth on the first page the wording before the ATTENTION statement and setting forth on the 2nd page the ATTENTION statement and remaining wording:
Declaration to physicians
(WISCONSIN LIVING WILL)
I,...., being of sound mind, voluntarily state my desire that my dying not be prolonged under the circumstances specified in this document. Under those circumstances, I direct that I be permitted to die naturally. If I am unable to give directions regarding the use of life-sustaining procedures or feeding tubes, I intend that my family and physician honor this document as the final expression of my legal right to refuse medical or surgical treatment.
1. If I have a TERMINAL CONDITION, as determined by 2 physicians who have personally examined me, I do not want my dying to be artificially prolonged and I do not want life-sustaining procedures to be used. In addition, the following are my directions regarding the use of feeding tubes: