Wisconsin Bill Summary

Our Care, Our Options Act (SB 1013)

The Legislation Allows:

a terminally ill, mentally capable adult with a prognosis of six months or less to live the option to request, obtain and take medication — should they choose —  to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.

 

The bill is modeled after the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, which has been in practice for nearly 30 years without a single substantiated instance of abuse or coercion.

Eligibility Criteria

Just like the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, to be eligible, a person must be:

  • An adult, aged 18 or older
  • Terminally ill with a prognosis of 6 months or less to live
  • Mentally capable and making an informed healthcare decision 

Individuals are not eligible for medical aid in dying because of age or disability. 

Key Provisions

  • The individual must be able to self-administer the medication. Self-administration does not include administration by intravenous (IV) injection or infusion by any person, including the doctor, family member or patient themselves.
  • Two medical providers must confirm that the person is terminally ill with a prognosis of six months or less to live, mentally capable and not being coerced.
  • A terminally ill person can withdraw their request for medication, not take the medication once they have it or otherwise change their mind at any point.
  • The attending healthcare provider must inform the requesting individual about all of their end-of-life care options, including comfort care, hospice and pain control
  • There is a mandatory mental health evaluation if either healthcare provider has concerns about the patient’s capacity to make an informed health care decision; the prescription cannot be written until the mental health provider confirms capacity.
  • Healthcare providers who participate and comply with all aspects of the law are given civil and criminal immunity.
  • Anyone attempting to coerce a patient will face criminal prosecution.
  • Life insurance payments can’t be denied to the families of those who use the law. No physician, health provider or pharmacist is required to participate.
  • The underlying illness — not medical aid in dying — will be listed as the cause of death on the death certificate.
  • Unused medication must be disposed of according to the guidelines specified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Additional Regulatory Requirements

  • The individual must make two separate requests for the medication, with a 15-day waiting period between the first and second request.
  • A written request is also required. One person must witness the written request, and they cannot be a relative or someone who stands to benefit from the person’s estate.
  • Prescribing healthcare providers must comply with medical-record documentation requirements and make records available to the state department of health.
  • The state department of health is required to issue a publicly available annual report. Identifying information about individual patients and doctors is kept confidential.

Additional Information About the Bill:

Legislation and Primary Sponsors

AB 781

  • Rep. Ohnstad
  • Rep. Joers
  • Rep. Palmeri
  • Rep. Snodgrass
  • Rep. Emerson
  • Rep. Jacobson
  • Rep. Conley
  • Rep. Stubbs
  • Rep. Sinicki
  • Rep. Subeck
  • Rep. Clancy

 

SB 739

  • Sen. Hesselbein
  • Sen. Agard
  • Sen. Carpenter
Compassion & Choices
8156 S Wadsworth Blvd #E-162
Littleton, CO 80128

Mail contributions directly to:
Compassion & Choices Gift Processing Center
PO Box 485
Etna, NH 03750