144A.3  Declaration relating to use of life-sustaining procedures.

1.  A competent adult may execute a declaration at any time directing that life-sustaining procedures be withheld or withdrawn. The declaration shall be given operative effect only if the declarant's condition is determined to be terminal and the declarant is not able to make treatment decisions.

2.  The declaration must be signed by the declarant or another person acting on behalf of the declarant at the direction of the declarant, must contain the date of its execution, and must be witnessed or acknowledged by one of the following methods:

a.  Is signed by at least two individuals who, in the presence of each other and the declarant, witnessed the signing of the declaration by the declarant or by another person acting on behalf of the declarant at the declarant's direction. At least one of the witnesses shall be an individual who is not a relative of the declarant by blood, marriage, or adoption within the third degree of consanguinity. The following individuals shall not be witnesses for a declaration:

(1)  A health care provider attending the declarant on the date of execution.

(2)  An employee of a health care provider attending the declarant on the date of execution.

(3)  An individual who is less than eighteen years of age.

b.  Is acknowledged before a notarial officer within this state.

3.  It is the responsibility of the declarant to provide the declarant's attending physician or health care provider with the declaration. An attending physician or health care provider may presume, in the absence of actual notice to the contrary, that the declaration complies with this chapter and is valid.

4.  A declaration or similar document executed in another state or jurisdiction in compliance with the law of that state or jurisdiction shall be deemed valid and enforceable in this state, to the extent the declaration or similar document is consistent with the laws of this state. A declaration or similar document executed by a veteran of the armed forces which is in compliance with the federal department of veterans affairs advance directive requirements shall be deemed valid and enforceable.

5.  A declaration executed pursuant to this chapter may, but need not, be in the following form:



If I should have an incurable or irreversible condition that will result either in death within a relatively short period of time or a state of permanent unconsciousness from which, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, there can be no recovery, it is my desire that my life not be prolonged by the administration of life-sustaining procedures. If I am unable to participate in my health care decisions, I direct my attending physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures that merely prolong the dying process and are not necessary to my comfort or freedom from pain. 

Section History: Recent form

  85 Acts, ch 3, § 4; 92 Acts, ch 1132, § 4; 98 Acts, ch 1083, §1

Internal References

  Referred to in § 144A.2, 144A.11

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