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Nebraska Declaration Regarding Life Sustaining Treatment Law

Living Wills – General – Nebraska


(Regarding the Administration of Life Sustaining Treatment)
(§§ 20-401 through 20-416 – Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.)


An adult is any person who is nineteen years of age or older or who is or has been married.

An attending physician is the physician who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care of the patient.

A declaration is a writing executed in accordance with the requirements of the Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.

A health care provider is a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized by the law of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

Life sustaining treatment is any medical procedure or intervention that, when administered to a qualified patient, will serve only to prolong the process of dying or maintain the qualified  patient in a persistent vegetative state.

A persistent vegetative state is a medical condition that, to a  reasonable degree of medical certainty as determined in accordance with  currently accepted medical standards, is characterized by a total and  irreversible loss of consciousness and capacity for cognitive interaction with the environment and no reasonable hope of improvement.

A qualified patient shall mean an adult who has executed a declaration and who has been determined by the attending physician to be in a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative state.

A terminal condition is an incurable and irreversible condition that, without the administration of life sustaining treatment, will, in the opinion of the attending physician, result in death within a relatively short time.


An adult of sound mind may execute a declaration governing the withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining treatment.

Execution and Witnesses

The declaration must be signed by the declarant or another person at the declarant’s direction and witnessed by two adults or a notary public.  No more than one witness to a declaration shall be an administrator or employee of a health care provider who is caring for or treating the declarant, and no witness shall be an employee of a life or health insurance provider for the declarant.  The restrictions upon who may witness the signing shall not apply to a notary public.


The statutory form is not required.


A declarant may revoke a declaration at any time and in any manner without regard to the  declarant’s mental or physical condition.  A revocation is effective upon its communication to the attending physician or other health care provider by the declarant or a witness to the revocation.

The attending physician or other health care provider must make the revocation a part of the declarant’s medical record.

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Inside Nebraska Declaration Regarding Life Sustaining Treatment Law