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David Ripley: Euthanasia Bill Lingers in House Committee

March 27th, 2009 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Under the guise of enhancing the rights of Idahoans with disabilities, the Idaho Senate passed SB 1114. It was well on the way to becoming law until national author Wesley Smith (Culture of Death) became interested in its details.

He alerted a few friends in Idaho and the national Right to Life office. Within hours, work began to unravel the particulars of this legislation.

Without possible dispute, this is the most lethal piece of legislation ever considered by the Idaho Legislature. Within its many pages is a substantial rewrite of the “Medical Consent and Natural Death Act”. (This is the portion of Idaho Code empowering people to prepare “living wills”).

Under the proposed legislation, a single doctor would be empowered to withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment if he or she determined that such treatment was “futile” or “medically inappropriate”. (These terms are never defined). The bill’s language would allow such withdrawal in violation of a patient’s expressed wishes in a “Living Will”. The patient (or authorized decision-maker) could not appeal the doctor’s ruling to a court. As written, the patient’s family would have fifteen days to move their loved one to another hospital – or be forced to stand by and watch her die.

The legislation is so draconian that one is initially overcome by disbelief. Yet a careful reading of Section 5 makes it clear that many presumptions of the Death Culture have worked their way into the mainstream of medical consciousness. In tandem with proposals by the Obama Administration to ration health care under the rubric of “reform”, we see this legislation as posing a dangerous threat to every Idahoan, not just “the disabled”. (After all, each of us is just one car accident or organ failure away from joining this precious class of persons).

We have spent some two weeks working on amendments with Right to Life and have participated in a series of meetings trying to fix this bill so that Idahoans have protections from the will of a single frustrated physician or an administrator looking to clear a bed for financial reasons. It is unclear whether any of these safeguards will be accepted by the bill’s proponents.

The safest course of action is for people to get up to speed on the bill and contact members of the House Health & Welfare Committee:

Sharon Block, Chairman sblock@house.idaho.gov
Pete Nielsen, Vice Chair pnielsen@house.idaho.gov
Janice McGeachin jmcgeach@house.idaho.gov
Tom Loertscher tloertscher@house.idaho.gov
Paul Shepherd pshepher@house.idaho.gov
Lynn Luker lluker@house.idaho.gov
Jim Marriott jmarriott@house.idaho.gov
Steven Thayn sthayn@house.idaho.gov
Judy Boyle jboyle@house.idaho.gov
Marc Gibbs mgibbs@house.idaho.gov
Jeff Thompson jthompson@house.idaho.gov
Fred Wood, M.D. fwood@house.idaho.gov
Branden Durst (D) bdurst@house.idaho.gov

We should ask them to oppose SB1114 unless pro-Life amendments are attached to the bill.

We would also welcome your prayers.

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Posted in Family Matters, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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