2019 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
Title 40 - Public Health and Safety
§1151. Legislative purpose, findings and intent

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 40:1151 (2019)

RS 1151 - Legislative purpose, findings and intent

A. Purpose and findings. (1) The legislature finds that all persons have the fundamental right to control the decisions relating to their own medical care, including the decision to have life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn in instances where such persons are diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition.

(2) The legislature further finds that the artificial prolongation of life for a person diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition may cause loss of individual and personal dignity and secure only a precarious and burdensome existence while providing nothing medically necessary or beneficial to the person.

(3) In order that the rights of such persons may be respected even after they are no longer able to participate actively in decisions concerning themselves, the legislature hereby declares that the laws of the state of Louisiana shall recognize:

(a) The right of such a person to make a declaration instructing his physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures or designating another to make the treatment decision and make such a declaration for him, in the event he is diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition; and

(b) The right of certain individuals to make a declaration pursuant to which life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn from an adult patient who is comatose, incompetent, or otherwise physically or mentally incapable of communication, or from a minor, in the event such adult patient or minor is diagnosed and certified as having a terminal and irreversible condition.

(4) In furtherance of the rights of such persons, the legislature finds and declares that nothing in this Subpart shall be construed to be the exclusive means by which life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn, nor shall this Subpart be construed to require the application of medically inappropriate treatment or life-sustaining procedures to any patient or to interfere with medical judgment with respect to the application of medical treatment or life-sustaining procedures.

B. Intent. (1) The legislature intends that the provisions of this Subpart are permissive and voluntary. The legislature further intends that the making of a declaration pursuant to this Subpart merely illustrates a means of documenting a patient's decision relative to withholding or withdrawal of medical treatment or life-sustaining procedures.

(2) It is the intent of the legislature that nothing in this Subpart shall be construed to require the making of a declaration pursuant to this Subpart .

(3) It is the intent of the legislature that nothing in this Subpart shall be construed to be the exclusive means by which life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn, nor shall this Subpart be construed to require the application of medically inappropriate treatment or life-sustaining procedures to any patient or to interfere with medical judgment with respect to the application of medical treatment or life-sustaining procedures.

Acts 1984, No. 382, §1; Acts 1985, No. 187, §1, eff. July 6, 1985; Redesignated from R.S. 40:1299.58.1 by HCR 84 of 2015 R.S.

NOTE: Former R.S. 40:1151 redesignated to R.S. 40:1281.11 by HCR 84 of 2015 R.S.

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