Powers of Attorney

ORS 127.635
Withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures

  • conditions
  • selection of health care representative in certain cases
  • required consultation


Life-sustaining procedures that would otherwise be applied to a principal who is incapable and who does not have an appointed health care representative or applicable valid advance directive may be withheld or withdrawn in accordance with subsections (2) and (3) of this section if the principal has been medically confirmed to be in one of the following conditions:


A terminal condition;


Permanently unconscious;


A condition in which administration of life-sustaining procedures would not benefit the principal’s medical condition and would cause permanent and severe pain; or


An advanced stage of a progressive illness that will be fatal, and the principal is consistently and permanently unable to communicate by any means, to swallow food and water safely, to care for the principal’s self and to recognize the principal’s family and other people, and it is very unlikely that the principal’s condition will substantially improve.


If a principal’s condition has been determined to meet one of the conditions set forth in subsection (1) of this section, and the principal does not have an appointed health care representative or applicable valid advance directive, the principal’s health care representative shall be the first of the following, in the following order, who can be located upon reasonable effort by the health care facility and who is willing to serve as the health care representative:


A guardian of the principal who is authorized to make health care decisions, if any;


The principal’s spouse;


An adult designated by the others listed in this subsection who can be so located, if no person listed in this subsection objects to the designation;


A majority of the adult children of the principal who can be so located;


Either parent of the principal;


A majority of the adult siblings of the principal who can be located with reasonable effort; or


Any adult relative or adult friend.


If none of the persons described in subsection (2) of this section is available, then life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn upon the direction and under the supervision of the attending physician or attending health care provider.


(a) Life-sustaining procedures may be withheld or withdrawn, including an election for hospice treatment, upon the direction and under the supervision of the attending physician or attending health care provider at the request of a person designated the health care representative under subsections (2) and (3) of this section only after the person has consulted with concerned family and close friends and, if the principal has a case manager, as defined by rules adopted by the Department of Human Services, after giving notice to the principal’s case manager.


A case manager who receives notice under paragraph (a) of this subsection shall provide the person giving the case manager notice with any information in the case manager’s possession that is related to the principal’s values, beliefs and preferences with respect to the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining procedures.


As used in this subsection, “hospice treatment” means treatment that focuses on palliative care, including care for acute pain and symptom management, rather than curative treatment, provided to a principal with a terminal condition.


Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, a person who is the principal’s parent or former guardian may not withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures under this section if:


At any time while the principal was under the care, custody or control of the person, a court entered an order:


Taking the principal into protective custody under ORS 419B.150 (When protective custody authorized); or


Committing the principal to the legal custody of the Department of Human Services for care, placement and supervision under ORS 419B.337 (Commitment to custody of Department of Human Services); and


The court entered a subsequent order that:


The principal should be permanently removed from the person’s home, or continued in substitute care, because it was not safe for the principal to be returned to the person’s home, and no subsequent order of the court was entered that permitted the principal to return to the person’s home before the principal’s wardship was terminated under ORS 419B.328 (Ward of the court); or


Terminated the person’s parental rights under ORS 419B.500 (Termination of parental rights generally) and 419B.502 (Termination upon finding of extreme conduct) to 419B.524 (Effect of termination order).


A principal, while not incapable, may petition the court to remove a prohibition contained in subsection (5) of this section. [Formerly 97.083; 1993 c.767 §21; 2011 c.194 §3; 2017 c.135 §1; 2018 c.36 §19; 2019 c.239 §1]

(formerly 97.083)

Law Review Citations

23 WLR 69, 90 (1987)

§§ 127.605 to 127.650

(formerly 97.050 to 97.090)

Law Review Citations

23 WLR 69, 70 (1987); 26 WLR 306 (1990); 71 OLR 909 (1992)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021