Wisconsin Statutes Health (Ch. 140 to 162) § 155.20. Health care agent; powers; limitations

(1) Unless the power of attorney for health care instrument otherwise provides and except as specified in subs. (2)(a) and (b), (3) and (4) and s. 155.60(2) , the health care agent who is known to the health care provider to be available to make health care decisions for the principal has priority over any individual other than the principal to make these health care decisions.

(2)(a) A health care agent may not consent to admission of the principal on an inpatient basis to any of the following:

1. An institution for mental diseases, as defined in s. 49.43(6m) .

2. An intermediate care facility for persons with an intellectual disability, as defined in s. 46.278(1m)(am) .

3. A state treatment facility, as defined in s. 51.01(15) .

4. A treatment facility, as defined in s. 51.01(19) .

(b) A principal may be admitted or committed on an inpatient basis to a facility specified in par. (a)1. to 4. only under the applicable requirements of ch. 51 or 55.

(c)1. In this paragraph:

a. “Community-based residential facility” has the meaning given in s. 50.01(1g) .

b. “Nursing home” has the meaning given in s. 50.01(3) .

2. A health care agent may consent to the admission of a principal to the following facilities, under the following conditions:

a. To a nursing home, for recuperative care for a period not to exceed 3 months, if the principal is admitted directly from a hospital inpatient unit, unless the hospital admission was for psychiatric care.

b. If the principal lives with his or her health care agent, to a nursing home or a community-based residential facility, as a temporary placement not to exceed 30 days, in order to provide the health care agent with a vacation or to release temporarily the health care agent for a family emergency.

c. To a nursing home or a community-based residential facility, for purposes other than those specified in subd. 2.a. and b., if the power of attorney for health care instrument specifically so authorizes and if the principal is not diagnosed as developmentally disabled or as having a mental illness at the time of the proposed admission.

(3) A health care agent may not consent to experimental mental health research or to psychosurgery, electroconvulsive treatment or drastic mental health treatment procedures for the principal.

(4) A health care agent may consent to the withholding or withdrawal of a feeding tube for the principal if the power of attorney for health care instrument so authorizes, unless the principal's attending physician advises that, in his or her professional judgment, the withholding or withdrawal will cause the principal pain or reduce the principal's comfort.  A health care agent may not consent to the withholding or withdrawal of orally ingested nutrition or hydration unless provision of the nutrition or hydration is medically contraindicated.

(5) The health care agent shall act in good faith consistently with the desires of the principal as expressed in the power of attorney for health care instrument or as otherwise specifically directed by the principal to the health care agent at any time.  The health care agent shall act in good faith consistently with any valid declaration executed by the principal under subch. II of ch. 154, except that the provisions of a principal's valid power of attorney for health care instrument supersede any directly conflicting provisions of a valid declaration executed by the principal under subch. II of ch. 154.  In the absence of a specific directive by the principal or if the principal's desires are unknown, the health care agent shall, in good faith, act in the best interests of the principal in exercising his or her authority.

(6) If the principal is known to be pregnant, the health care agent may make a health care decision on behalf of the principal that the power of attorney for health care instrument authorizes.

(7) If necessary to implement the health care decisions that a health care agent is authorized to make, in accordance with the desires of the principal, the health care agent may sign or otherwise execute any documents, waivers or releases related to the principal's care or treatment.

(8) A health care agent may make an anatomical gift of all or a part of the principal's body as provided under s. 157.06(4)(b) or (9)(a)1.


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