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Wisconsin Declaration to Physicians Law

Living Wills – General – Wisconsin

Any person of sound mind and 18 years of age or older may execute a declaration 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. However, such a declaration will not be effective as to the administration of medication or tube feeding if declarant’s attending physician determines that the withdrawal of food or medicine will cause pain or reduce declarant’s comfort.

A declarant may not authorize the withholding or withdrawal of nutrition or hydration (except tube feeding) unless declarant’s physician determines that the administration of same is medically contraindicated.

Execution and Witness Requirements (§154.03):
A declaration must be signed by the declarant in the presence of 2 witnesses. Another person, or one of the witnesses, can sign the declaration if the declarant is unable to sign. The signing must be in the declarant’s presence. Signing in this manner must be acknowledged or signed in the presence of two witnesses. The declarant is responsible for notifying the attending physician of the existence of the declaration. The attending physician must make the declaration a part of the declarant’s medical records.

The following MAY NOT be witnesses to the execution of a declaration:

A person who is related to the declarant by blood, marriage or adoption;

A person who has knowledge that he or she is entitled to or has a claim on any portion of the declarant’s estate;

A person who is directly financially responsible for the declarant’s health care; or

A person who is a health care provider, as defined in  §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.

Mandatory Form (154.03(2)):
A Declaration to Physicians MUST be in the form provided for in the statute.

Revocation Requirements (§154.05):
A declaration may be revoked at any time by any of the following:

By being canceled, defaced, obliterated, burned, torn or otherwise destroyed by the declarant or by some person who is directed by the declarant and who acts in the presence of the declarant.

By a written revocation of the declarant expressing the intent to revoke, signed and dated by the declarant.

By a verbal expression by the declarant of his or her intent to revoke the declaration.  This revocation becomes effective only if the declarant or a person who is acting on behalf of the declarant notifies the attending physician of the revocation.

By executing a subsequent declaration.

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Inside Wisconsin Declaration to Physicians Law