Illinois Compiled Statutes
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ESTATES755 ILCS 35/1
(755 ILCS 35/) Illinois Living Will Act.
(755 ILCS 35/1)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 701)
The legislature finds that persons have the fundamental
right to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their own medical
care, including the decision to have death delaying procedures withheld
or withdrawn in instances of a terminal condition.
In order that the rights of patients may be respected even after they are
no longer able to participate actively in decisions about themselves, the
legislature hereby declares that the laws of this State shall recognize
the right of a person to make a written declaration instructing his or her
physician to withhold or withdraw death delaying procedures in the event
of a terminal condition.
(Source: P.A. 85-860.)
755 ILCS 35/2
(755 ILCS 35/2)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 702)
(a) "Attending physician" means the physician selected by, or assigned
to, the patient who has primary responsibility for the treatment and care
of the patient.
(b) "Declaration" means a witnessed document in writing, voluntarily
executed by the declarant in accordance with the requirements of Section 3.
(c) "Health-care provider" means 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.
(d) "Death delaying procedure" means any medical procedure or intervention
which, when applied to a qualified patient, in the judgement of the attending
physician would serve only to postpone the moment of death. In
appropriate circumstances, such procedures include, but are not limited to,
assisted ventilation, artificial kidney treatments, intravenous feeding or
medication, blood transfusions, tube feeding and other procedures of
greater or lesser magnitude that serve only to delay death. However, this
Act does not affect the responsibility of the attending physician or other
health care provider to provide treatment for a patient's comfort care or
alleviation of pain. Nutrition and hydration shall not be withdrawn or
withheld from a qualified patient if the withdrawal or withholding would
result in death solely from dehydration or starvation rather than from the
existing terminal condition.
(e) "Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust,
estate, trust, partnership, association, government, governmental
subdivision or agency, or any other legal entity.
(f) "Physician" means a person licensed to practice medicine in
all its branches.
(g) "Qualified patient" means a patient who has executed a declaration
in accordance with this Act and who has been diagnosed and verified in
writing to be afflicted with a terminal condition by his or her attending
physician who has personally examined the patient. A qualified patient
has the right to make decisions regarding death delaying procedures as long
as he or she is able to do so.
(h) "Terminal condition" means an incurable and irreversible condition
which is such that death is imminent and the application of death delaying
procedures serves only to prolong the dying process.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
755 ILCS 35/3
(755 ILCS 35/3)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 703)
Execution of a Document.
(a) An individual of sound mind and
having reached the age of majority or having obtained the status of an
emancipated person pursuant to the Emancipation of Minors
Act, as now or hereafter amended, may execute a document directing that if
he is suffering from a terminal condition, then death delaying procedures shall
not be utilized for the prolongation of his life.
(b) The declaration must be signed by the declarant, or another at the
declarant's direction, and witnessed by 2 individuals 18 years of age or
(c) The declaration of a qualified patient diagnosed as pregnant by the
attending physician shall be given no force and effect
as long as in the opinion of the attending physician it is possible that
the fetus could develop to the point of live birth with the continued
application of death delaying procedures.
(d) If the patient is able, it shall be the responsibility of the
patient to provide for notification
to his or her attending physician of the existence of a
declaration, to provide the declaration to the physician and to ask the
attending physician whether he or she is willing to comply with its provisions.
An attending physician who is so notified shall make the declaration, or
copy of the declaration, a part of the patient's
medical records. If the physician is at any time unwilling to comply
with its provisions, the physician shall promptly so advise the declarant.
If the physician is unwilling to comply with its provisions and the patient
is able, it is the patient's responsibility to initiate the transfer to
another physician of the patient's choosing. If the physician is unwilling
to comply with its provisions and the patient is at any time not able to
initiate the transfer, then the attending physician
shall without delay notify the person with the highest priority, as set
forth in this subsection, who is available, able, and willing to make
arrangements for the transfer of the patient and the appropriate medical
records to another physician for the effectuation of the patient's
declaration. The order of priority is as follows: (1) any person authorized
by the patient to make such arrangements, (2) a guardian of the person of
the patient, without the necessity of obtaining a court order to do so, and
(3) any member of the patient's family.
(e) The declaration may, but need not, be in the following form, and
in addition may include other specific directions. Should any specific
direction be determined to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect
other directions of the declaration which can be given effect without the
invalid direction, and to this end the directions in the declaration are
This declaration is made this ............. day of ............. (month,
year). I, .................., being of sound mind, willfully and
voluntarily make known my desires that my moment of death shall not be
If at any time I should have an incurable and irreversible injury,
disease, or illness judged to be a terminal condition by my attending
physician who has personally examined me and has determined that my death
is imminent except for death delaying procedures, I direct that such
procedures which would only prolong the dying process be withheld or
withdrawn, and that I be permitted to die naturally with only the
administration of medication, sustenance, or the performance of any medical
procedure deemed necessary by my attending physician to provide me with comfort care.
In the absence of my ability to give directions regarding the use of such
death delaying procedures, it is my intention that this declaration shall
be honored by my family and physician as the final expression of my legal
right to refuse medical or surgical treatment and accept the consequences
from such refusal.
City, County and State of Residence .........................
The declarant is personally known to me and I believe him or her to
be of sound mind. I saw the declarant sign the declaration in my presence
(or the declarant acknowledged in my presence that he or she had signed
the declaration) and I signed the declaration as a witness in the presence
of the declarant. I did not sign the declarant's signature above for or at
the direction of the declarant. At the date of this instrument, I am
not entitled to any portion of the estate of the declarant according
to the laws of intestate succession or, to the best of my knowledge and
belief, under any will of declarant or other instrument taking effect at
declarant's death, or directly financially responsible for declarant's medical care.
(Source: P.A. 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)
755 ILCS 35/4
(755 ILCS 35/4)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 704)
Recording of a Terminal Condition.
that the declarant has a terminal condition, the attending physician who
knows of a declaration shall record the determination and the terms of the
declaration in the declarant's medical record. A physician who records in
writing a terminal condition under this Section is presumed to be acting in
good faith. Unless it is alleged and proved that his action violated the
standard of reasonable professional care and judgment under the
circumstances, he is immune from civil or criminal liability that otherwise
might be incurred.
(Source: P.A. 85-860.)
755 ILCS 35/5
(755 ILCS 35/5)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 705)
(a) A declaration may be revoked at any time by
the declarant, without regard to declarant's mental or physical condition,
by any of the following methods:
(1) By being obliterated, burnt, torn or otherwise destroyed or defaced
in a manner indicating intention to cancel;
(2) By a written revocation of the declaration signed and dated by the
declarant or person acting at the direction of the declarant; or
(3) By a oral or any other expression of the intent to revoke the
declaration, in the presence of a witness 18 years of age or older who
signs and dates a writing confirming that such expression of intent was made.
(b) A revocation is effective upon communication to the attending
physician by the declarant or by another who
witnessed the revocation. The attending physician shall record in
the patient's medical record the time and date when and
the place where he or she received notification of the revocation.
(c) There shall be no criminal or civil liability on the
part of any person for failure to act upon a revocation made pursuant to
this Section unless that person has actual knowledge of the revocation.
(Source: P.A. 85-860.)
755 ILCS 35/6
(755 ILCS 35/6)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 706)
An attending physician who has
been notified of the existence of a declaration executed under this Act,
without delay after the diagnosis of a terminal condition of the patient,
shall take the necessary steps to provide for written recording
of the patient's terminal condition, so that the patient may be deemed to
be a qualified patient under this
Act, or shall notify the patient or, if the patient is unable to
initiate a transfer, the person or persons described in subsection (d) of
Section 3 in the order of priority stated therein that the physician is
unwilling to comply with the provisions of the patient's declaration. In the
event of the patient's death as determined by a physician, all medical care is
to be terminated unless the patient is an organ donor, in which case
appropriate organ donation treatment may be applied or continued temporarily.
(Source: P.A. 93-794, eff. 7-22-04.)
755 ILCS 35/7
(755 ILCS 35/7)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 707)
The desires of a qualified patient shall at all
times supersede the effect of the declaration.
A physician or other health-care provider may presume, in the
absence of knowledge to the contrary, that a declaration complies
with this Act and is valid.
No physician, health care provider or employee thereof who in good faith
and pursuant to reasonable medical standards causes or participates in the
withholding or withdrawing of death delaying
procedures from a qualified patient pursuant to a declaration which purports
to have been made in accordance with this Act shall as a result thereof,
be subject to criminal or civil liability, or be found to have committed
an act of unprofessional conduct.
(Source: P.A. 85-860.)
755 ILCS 35/8
(755 ILCS 35/8)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 708)
(a) Any person who willfully conceals, cancels, defaces, obliterates, or
damages the declaration of another without such declarant's consent or who
falsifies or forges a revocation of the declaration of another or who
willfully fails to comply with Section 6 shall be civilly liable.
(b) Any person who coerces or fraudulently induces another to execute
a declaration or falsifies or forges the declaration of another, or
willfully conceals or withholds personal knowledge of a revocation as provided
in Section 5 with the intent to cause a withholding or withdrawal of
death delaying procedures contrary to the wishes of the qualified patient
and thereby, because of such act, directly causes death delaying
procedures to be withheld or withdrawn and death to another thereby be
hastened, shall be subject to prosecution for involuntary manslaughter.
(c) A physician or other health-care provider who willfully fails to notify
the health care facility or fails to comply with Section 6 is guilty of
engaging in unethical and unprofessional conduct in violation of paragraph
(A)(5) of Section 22 of the Medical Practice Act of
(d) A physician who willfully fails to record the determination of
terminal condition in accordance with
Section 4, without giving the notice required by Section 6 of his
unwillingness to comply with the provisions of the patient's declaration,
is guilty of willfully omitting to file or record medical reports as
required by law in violation of paragraph (A)(22) of
Section 22 of the Medical Practice Act of 1987.
(e) A person who requires or prohibits the execution of a
declaration as a condition for being insured for, or receiving, health-care
services is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
(f) The penalties provided in this Section do not displace any
penalty applicable under other law.
(Source: P.A. 90-14, eff. 7-1-97.)
755 ILCS 35/9
(755 ILCS 35/9)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 709)
(a) The withholding or withdrawal of
death delaying procedures from a qualified patient in accordance with the
provisions of this Act shall not, for any purpose, constitute a suicide.
(b) The making of a declaration pursuant to Section 3 shall not affect
in any manner the sale, procurement, or issuance of any policy of life
insurance, nor shall it be deemed to modify the terms of an existing policy
of life insurance. No policy of life insurance shall be legally impaired
or invalidated in any manner by the withholding or withdrawal of death
delaying procedures from an insured qualified patient, notwithstanding any
term of the policy to the contrary.
(c) No physician, health care facility, or other health care provider,
and no health care service plan, health maintenance organization, insurer
issuing disability insurance, self-insured employe welfare benefit plan,
nonprofit medical service corporation or mutual nonprofit hospital service
corporation shall require any person to execute a declaration as a
condition for being insured for, or receiving, health care services.
(d) Nothing in this Act shall impair or supersede any legal right or legal
responsibility which any person may have to effect the withholding or
withdrawal of death delaying procedures in any lawful manner. In such
respect the provisions of this Act are cumulative.
(e) This Act shall create no presumption concerning the intention of an
individual who has not executed a declaration to consent to the use or
withholding of death delaying procedures in the event of a terminal condition.
(f) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to condone, authorize or approve
mercy killing or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act or omission
to end life other than to permit the natural process of dying as provided in this Act.
(g) An instrument executed before the effective date of this Act
that substantially complies with paragraph (e) of Section 3 shall be given
effect pursuant to the provisions of this Act.
(h) A declaration executed in another state in compliance with the
law of that state or this State is validly executed for purposes of this
Act, and such declaration shall be applied in accordance with the
provisions of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 85-860.)
755 ILCS 35/10
(755 ILCS 35/10)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 710)
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Illinois
Living Will Act".
(Source: P.A. 83-824.)