(755 ILCS 40/5) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 851-5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings and purposes.
    (a) Findings.
    The legislature recognizes that all persons have a fundamental right to make decisions relating to their own medical treatment, including the right to forgo life-sustaining treatment.
    Lack of decisional capacity, alone, should not prevent decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment from being made on behalf of persons who lack decisional capacity and have no known applicable living will or power of attorney for health care.
    Uncertainty and lack of clarity in the law concerning the making of private decisions concerning medical treatment and to forgo life-sustaining treatment, without judicial involvement, causes unnecessary emotional distress to the individuals involved and unduly impedes upon the individual right to forgo life-sustaining treatment.
    The enactment of statutory guidelines for private decision making will bring improved clarity and certainty to the process for implementing decisions concerning medical treatment and to forgo life-sustaining treatment and will substantially reduce the associated emotional distress for involved parties.
    (b) Purposes.
    This Act is intended to define the circumstances under which private decisions by patients with decisional capacity and by surrogate decision makers on behalf of patients lacking decisional capacity to make medical treatment decisions or to terminate life-sustaining treatment may be made without judicial involvement of any kind.
    This Act is intended to establish a process for that private decision making.
    This Act is intended to clarify the rights and obligations of those involved in these private decisions by or on behalf of patients.
    This Act is not intended to condone, authorize, or approve mercy killing or assisted suicide.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98)