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Wisconsin

Current Status

Wisconsin State Representative Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains), along with a number of co-sponsors (see list below), introduced AB 552, the Compassionate Choices Act, on October 18, 2019. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Health.

AB 552

  • Introduced on October 18, 2019
  • Named Compassionate Choices Act.
  • Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Representative Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains)
  • Co-sponsored by 9 Wisconsin State Senators and 6 Wisconsin State Representatives
  • Referred to the Committee on Public Health.

It is my solemn hope that in the near future, Wisconsinites facing imminent death, have an option to avoid pain and suffering by making a final and dignified choice—to spend their final moments with their loved ones in a manner and at a time of their choosing.

—Wisconsin State Representative Sondy Pope

Resources

  • Full text of AB 552
  • Legislative history of AB 552
  • Sponsors of AB 552
    • Representatives: Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) – primary, Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg), Jill Billings (D-LaCrosse), Nick Milroy (D-South Range), Tod Ohnstad (D-Kenosha), Melissa Sargent (D-Madison), Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit), Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), Chris Taylor (D-Madison), Don Vruwink (D-Milton)
    • Senators: Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee), Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona), Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison), Senator Jeff Smith (D-Au Claire), Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee)

    History

    2017-2018

    Wisconsin State Representatives Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains), and 12 additional sponsors sponsored AB 216, the Compassionate Choices Act.

    Introducing the bill, Representative Pope said, “[i]t is inhumane to force a person with a terminal illness to suffer needlessly. A compassionate society would allow them the choice to spend their last days where and with whomever they choose.”

    Wisconsin States Senators Fred Risser (D-Madison), Janet Bewley (D-Ashland), Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee), and LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) co-sponsored the House bill and introduced its companion bill, SB 312, on June 23, 2017 (sponsors of the House bill co-sponsored the Senate bill).

    The bills failed to pass in 2018.

    2015-2016

    In March 2015, Senator Risser plus 4 co-sponsors, and Representatives Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) and Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) plus 12 co-sponsors, introduced companion Death with Dignity measures, AB 67 and SB 26, in the Senate and Assembly, respectively. The bills were carried over to 2016 and stalled in committee.

    Pre-2015

    The 2015-2016 session was the 8th time a death with dignity bill was introduced in the past 20 years. The proposed bill was not heard by either chamber in any of the previous seven attempts: