Some Oregon legislators and insurance lobbyists have recently devised another legal way to kill people. It is so inhumane that you would not even treat your pet dog in this way. Just as all bullies do, these legislators have singled out the weak and defenseless.
SB494, if passed, would allow the starving and dehydrating to death of conscious Alzheimer’s, dementia and mentally ill patients. These are patients who are awake, can chew and swallow and want to eat, even though in some cases they may need help in delivering food to their mouths. Current safeguards in Oregon’s law protect these patients from this type of cruelty. This bill take away these safeguards.
End of life decisions are very difficult. Families suffer emotionally as they make decisions as to use or withdraw feeding tubes, possibly place DNR orders, or use heroic treatments. Most of these decisions, however, involve patients in comatose situations, and most of them are free of moral implications. Most of them, also, are end-of-life decisions.
The targets of this bill, Alzheimer’s, dementia and mentally ill patients, however, are not at the end-of- life stage. The problem is, for some, especially insurance companies, they are not dying fast enough.
Families of Alzheimer’s patients have suffered emotionally and physically by the time they finally reach the point of placing their loved one in a memory care unit. Some comfort can be derived from the knowledge that their loved one will be receiving attentive and kind care while in these facilities. Should this bill pass, that peace would vanish.
Please click here to find and write to your State Senator, asking him/her to vote NO on Senate bill 494.
Note: Many people have read SB494 for themselves and have been confused, not finding in the bill the dangers we are warning about. I completely understand the confusion as the bill is very complicated and is written in a clever and deceiving way. It is what is being taken OUT of statute that is so dangerous. It is what the bill, if passed, will NOT say.
Important terms are being taken out of statute, and the advance directive, which is now in statute and thus can only be changed by a bill being passed, will be changed so that an unaccountable, appointed board can make any changes to the directive that it wants. This bill is best understood by lawyers specializing in legislative bills.
If you would like a fact sheet on the bill, please email your request to Gayle at firstname.lastname@example.org