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Wisconsin

Current Status

Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) and Representatives Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) and Rep. Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) introduced LRB 1624-1, the End-of-Life Options Act, on September 20, 2019.

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

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: