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Idaho Living Will Law

Living Wills – General – Idaho

Section 39-4501: This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Natural Death Act.”

Section 39-4509: (1) The legislature recognizes the established common law and the fundamental right of competent persons to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their medical care, including the decision to have life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn. The legislature further finds that modern medical technology has made possible the artificial prolongation of human life beyond natural limits. The legislature further finds that persons are sometimes unable to express their desire to withhold or withdraw such artificial life prolongation procedures which provide nothing medically necessary or beneficial to the person because of the person’s inability to communicate with the health care provider.

(2) In recognition of the dignity and privacy which persons have a right to expect, the legislature hereby declares that the laws of this state shall recognize the right of a competent person to have his or her wishes for medical treatment and for the withdrawal of artificial life-sustaining procedures carried out even though that person is no longer able to communicate with the health care provider.

(3) It is the intent of the legislature to establish an effective means for such communication. It is not the intent of the legislature that the procedures described in sections 39-4509 through 39-4515, Idaho Code, are the only effective means of such communication, and nothing in sections 39-4509 through 39-4515, Idaho Code, shall impair or supersede any legal right or legal responsibility which a person may have to effect the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures in any lawful manner, provided that this sentence shall not be construed to authorize any violation of section 39-4514(3), Idaho Code. Any authentic expression of a person’s wishes with respect to health care should be honored.

(4) “Competent person” means any person who meets the requirements of section 39-4503, Idaho Code.

Cite as Idaho Code § 39-4509

History. Amended by 2012 Session Laws, ch. 305, sec. 1, eff. 7/1/2012.

Amended by 2012 Session Laws, ch. 302, sec. 7, eff. 7/1/2012.

Section 39-4502: The following definitions shall govern the construction of this chapter:

(1)  “Attending physician” means the physician licensed by the state board of medicine, selected by, or assigned to, the patient who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.

(2)  “Competent person” means any emancipated minor or any person eighteen(18) or more years of age who is of sound mind.

(3)  “Artificial life-sustaining procedure” means any medical procedure or intervention which utilizes mechanical means to sustain or supplant a vital function which when applied to a qualified patient, would serve only to artificially prolong life and where, in the judgment of the attending physician, death is imminent whether or not such procedures are utilized, or the patient is diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state. Artificial life-sustaining procedures shall not include the administration of medication or the performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary to alleviate pain.

(4)  “Durable power of attorney for health care” means a durable power of attorney to the extent that it authorizes an attorney in fact to make health care decisions for the principal.

Section 39-4510: Any competent person may execute a document known as a “living will.” Such document shall be in the following form or in another form that contains the elements set forth in this section.

Section 39-4511A:

(1) A living will and durable power of attorney for health care or physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form or other advance directive may be revoked at any time by the maker thereof by any of the following methods :

(a) By being intentionally canceled, defaced, obliterated or burned, torn, or otherwise destroyed by the maker thereof, or by some person in his presence and by his direction;

(b) By a written, signed revocation of the maker thereof expressing his intent to revoke;

(c) By an oral expression by the maker thereof expressing his intent to revoke; or

(d) By any other action that clearly manifests the maker’ s intent to revoke the advance directive.

(2) The maker of the revoked advance directive is responsible for notifying his health care provider of the revocation. A health care provider who does not have actual knowledge of the revocation is entitled to rely on an otherwise apparently valid advance directive as though it had not been revoked.

(3) There shall be no criminal or civil liability on the part of any person for the failure to act upon a revocation of a living will and durable power of attorney for health care, physician orders for scope of treatment (POST) form or other advance directive made pursuant to this chapter unless that person has actual knowledge of the revocation.

Cite as Idaho Code § 39-4511A

History. Amended by 2017 Session Laws, ch. 273, sec. 2, eff. 7/1/2017.

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Inside Idaho Living Will Law