When Oregon became the first state in the nation to legalize the practice of assisted suicide, pro-life advocates argued this would be a slippery slope that would lead to euthanasia.
And the legislature just signed off on it. Today House Bill 4135 passed the Oregon Senate 17-12. While the stated intent of the bill’s authors was to update the advance directive, it also paves the way for healthcare representatives to remove access to food and water for vulnerable Oregonians with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“Oregonians should be able to trust their elected officials to act in their best interests,” said Lois Anderson, Oregon Right to Life’s executive director, in an email to LifeNews. “This bill is a betrayal of that trust. The brief hearings held in committee showed significant problems with the bill, especially the testimony from doctors who know well what Oregonian patients need.”
HB 4135 originally passed the Oregon House February 16, 35-25, in a party line vote. The bill now goes to the governor, Kate Brown — who is not pro-life.
Last session a similar bill (SB 494) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Floyd Prozanski . It died in the House. The new bill, HB 4135, is chief sponsored by Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek.
“Supporters of this bill are touting it as a ‘fix,’ but the only fixing that is happening is fixing it so vulnerable Oregonians are left without protections and their right to basic care like food and water,” said Anderson. “One wonders what the true motivations are for this legislation.”
Anderson says HB 4135 is purported to just be a bill that makes technical changes to the current statutory advance directive form found in ORS 127.531. However, over the last 25 years Oregonians at the end-of-life stage have been protected by the current advance directive and removing it from statute has legal consequences.
“The advance directive was put into Oregon statute back in 1993. I was then a state senator when a very well vetted bill was thoroughly discussed and passed. I worked hard to ensure the advance directive was in statute. If it were to be removed from statute, I fear the legal protections we carefully placed there could be jeopardized, potentially harming end of life decisions for vulnerable patients,” stated Representative Bill Kennemer (R- HD 39).
Last year’s bill was touted as a good thing, but in fact it promoted the withholding or withdrawal of nutrition and hydration (food and water) from people who are incompetent and not dying.
Action: To ask the governor to veto the bill, please click here.
Source: Life News