Are You a Legal Professional?

Hawaii Living Wills Laws

Our first thought when it comes to wills is what happens to a person’s property after he or she passes away. But a living will can be in effect while a person is still alive and is a legally binding document that expresses an individual's medical treatment preferences if he or she becomes incapacitated. Living wills can also indicate a patient’s wishes regarding whether he or she wants to be kept alive through artificial means after a debilitating injury or illness. This is a quick introduction to living wills laws in Hawaii.

Living Wills Laws in Hawaii

Hawaii’s living wills statutes are listed below.

Code Section

Hawaii Revised Statutes 327E-1, et seq.: Uniformed Health-Care Decisions Act

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Execute declaration directing provision, continuation, withholding, or withdrawal of any medical procedure or intervention including artificial provisions of fluids, nourishment, medication that when administered to patient will only serve to prolong dying process; does not include procedure necessary for patient comfort or relief

Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will

(1) Competent person, age of majority; (2) in writing; (3) signed by declarant or another person in his presence and at his expressed direction; (4) dated; (5) signed in presence of 2 or more adult witnesses; (6) all signatures notarized; (7) not pregnant; (8) in terminal condition or permanent loss of ability to communicate concerning medical treatment (sample form §327D-4)

Revocation of Living Will

Revocable at any time by various methods including: (1) in writing signed and dated by declarant; (2) unambiguous verbal expression by declarant in front of 2 witnesses; (3) canceling, destroying declaration in declarant's presence and at his direction; (4) unambiguous verbal expression to attending physician

Validity from State-to-State

Document executed in another state is valid if it substantially complies with requirements of this chapter

If Physician Unwilling to Follow Living Will

Physician shall without delay make necessary arrangements to transfer patient and medical records to another physician; transfer without unreasonable delay or with good faith attempt to transfer is not abandonment and not subject to liability

Immunity for Attending Physician

No criminal prosecution or civil liability or deemed to have engaged in unprofessional conduct as result of withholding or withdrawal of life sustaining procedures unless absence of actual notice of revocation is result of negligence of health care provider, physician, or other person. Failure to transfer is professional misconduct

Hawaii Living Wills Laws: Related Resources

State wills laws are complicated, and planning for a future illness or death is never easy. If you would like legal assistance regarding a health care or living will matter, you can consult with a Hawaii estate planning attorney or a Hawaii health care attorney. You can also find additional articles and information, including a sample living will form and a sample living will with designation of a surrogate form, by visiting FindLaw’s section on Living Wills.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
Contact a qualified attorney.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)