(755 ILCS 40/5)
(from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 851-5)
Legislative findings and purposes.
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
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
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
This Act is intended to clarify the rights and obligations of
those involved in these private decisions by or on behalf of
This Act is not intended to condone, authorize, or approve
mercy killing or assisted suicide.
(Source: P.A. 90-246, eff. 1-1-98)