SB 494 Passes Oregon Senate

UPDATE: While we were able to defeat SB 494, it was reintroduced and passed as HB 4135 the following legislative session and signed into law.

UPDATE: After passing out of the Senate, SB 494 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which is closed for the remainder of this Legislative Session.  Please see our latest press release here.

Today, Senate Bill 494 passed out of the Senate by 17-13. All Senate Democrats voted for the bill except Senator Betsy Johnson.  All Republicans voted no except Senator Jeff Kruse.

The bill, which would allow surrogates the power to withhold food and hydration from mentally ill or dementia patients, is pushed by big insurance companies and others who appear to view mentally incapable patients as a burden.  Legislators who voted “yes” on the bill are denying its real-world consequences, which will endanger the lives of people with mental illness or dementia.

The lone Republican supporter, Senator Jeff Kruse, who has long been endorsed by Oregon Right to Life as being “pro-life,” put an end to his pro-life ethic. He disregarded literally thousands of emails and phone calls from his own constituents, as well as detailed conversations with Oregon Right to Life lobbyists.

SB 494 now heads to the State House of Representatives.  You can rest assured that we will keep you up-to-date on the next steps for taking action.  We will not stop working against this bill as long as the legislature is in session. It is still possible to stop SB 494.  The Legislative session is constitutionally required to finish by July 10th, at which point any unpassed legislation will “die.”

We want to take a moment to thank the thousands of people who called or emailed their State Senators, even just in the last couple of days. Dozens of people (some from Eugene and Hillsboro) also drove to the State Capitol on Monday with barely any notice to speak out against SB 494 in committee (pictured).

We need to continue to stand strong for the protection of life over the next month.

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  1. Thank you for this information. Keep up the wonderful fight!!
    I have tried and tried to use the link to email my Senator, but when I click on submit, nothing happens except the fields turn pink, as if I have entered wrong information or left something blank, but I haven’t.

    1. I am too, this bill is very disturbing, like some people are not worth a hoot! Just awful!

    2. People that voted for this Bill & for senator Jeff Kruse — they all better pray they never become as such as one of these dear ones that are such a burden !!! I am frustrated because I just don’t understand “HOW” this could happen, what are they thinking, that they will never grow old or have even w/in their own families those born w/ needs.. & I am so heart broken over this, the people whose lives could be destroyed !! But we must keep the faith & keep fighting the good fight !! PRAY !! PRAY !! PRAY !! PRAY !! Thank You to all you who work so tirelessly I’m these matters & work hard to keep us informed !! GOD BLESS YOU !!

      1. I so agree with you. My husband and I we’re just saying this very thing earlier. Praying hard for Our state, the country and the world. What has this come to? God needs to be our focus. It’s obvious! Who are these people trying to proclaim they are him? Praying also for the abortion situation out lovely governor passed or is trying to pass 🙁

  2. We are against the Bill 494….We are for life….No Bill and no ONE should be allowed to withhold sustenance and water from anyone….We cannot play GOD….It is not our choice to decide to let anyone die. I believe last time I looked into it…we are all human and subject to illness, but does not mean someone should choose for any one of us to die at their beck and call just because they may be a burden to someone…after all that someone ….someday….may be YOU.

  3. This is totally wrong. This is what democrats have always stood for and is sad that people put them in office. This does not even dtate that it exclude children of mental illness either. Karma will get ones who do this. This must be stopped.

      1. Excuse you what? Can’t read?

        “All Senate Democrats voted for the bill except Senator Betsy Johnson. All Republicans voted no except Senator Jeff Kruse.”

      2. No. The article says one republican voted for the bill so sounds like the democrats all voted for the bill. Check your own facts or just read!

      3. I don’t say this in a mean tone. But read the article again, it’s said, all the Democrats except for one voted for this bill all the Republicans voted against it except for one Republican. If you check the record for pro life versus abortion votes you will find the same kind of statistics. Why? Either a person believes in a creator that has a reason for the length of a persons life or that a life is only valuable If another human being wants it, young or old.

  4. My mother recently went through a time of delirium without apparent causes. She was admitted to a rehab facility where she was declared in a state of severe dementia. She fell & broke her hip after 17 days of inconsistent care. She was then admitted to the hospital for hip repair & then admitted to a different rehab, again declared with severe dementia. She mentally cleared after 3 weeks and her mental state was corrected to normal, age-appropriate status. She was finally discharged after 48 days of physical, occupational, speech & cognitive therapies. This law would have threatened my mother’s life any of those days between delirium & discharge. SHAMEFUL LEGISLATION: SB 494.

  5. I am deeply opposed to SB 494.
    It is inhumane and unconstitutional.
    To withhold the basic needs of life is just wrong.
    Where is the compassion and concern for people?
    We are not God that we should decide who lives and dies because they are viewed as a burden to society, or a financial detriment to the insurance companies.
    Everyone deserves respect.
    Please take a stand against this deplorable bill.
    This is a step to our future when laws may become the determining gage that is used in all our lives if we live or die.
    What if Simone has an incurable disease so a law may say I die because I cost the insurance company to much money.
    We are sinking to a new low.

  6. This is so disgusting! All because of money! We have wasted our tax dollars and yet a life, no matter what the circumstance deserves nothing? Entitled lazy ass society needs this law because they have drained our system! They are the people who do not need assistance! Stop enabling and start making them work.
    Get Kate Brown and her twisted concepts out of office.

  7. Thanks for updates on this evil bill. We must elect Republicans in office to fight this kind of thinking

  8. God bless Senator Betsy Johnson…and may karma deal the appropriate fate to all those who advocate for this bill in any way, shape, or form.

  9. I feel like your article gives the impression that the bill will die if not passed by the house by July 10th. In reading the bill it looks like it passes by default ( sine die).
    “EFFECTIVE DATE
    SECTION 37. This 2017 Act takes effect on the 91st day after the date on which the 2017
    regular session of the Seventy-eighth Legislative Assembly adjourns sine die.”

    1. The bill has to pass the legislature and be signed by the governor to become law. That section of the bill quoted is irrelevant if the bill doesn’t pass.

  10. I am a Democrat but not a liberal. You think they are the same, they are not. I am opposed to this bill as it is inhumane. It has nothing to do with religion, and nothing to do with the party I vote for. It is simply not right.

    1. I understand those who say they are Democrat but not liberal — Praise GOD — but you must see it this way -You vote the Democrats in office & we can already see the damage that can be done when they have the power to do so !! And some Republicans are no better — we must now learn to vote for individuals & not party’s !! Again shame on senator Jeff Kruse — who was supposedly right for life !! He must have gotten paid well for his being a turncoat !!

  11. Doctors were unable to diagnose my hypothyroidism which caused me to have mental issues when in my late 30’s. A Japanese ER physician finally discovered the cause of my illness and prescribed and inexpensive low dose medication that I have taken daily for 50 years. I have since been active as a CEO in our family owned business, an elected public official and served many volunteer positions in my community. At 83 years of age, I continue to actively assist needs within my own family as a great grandparent. I have been an advocate for compassionate mental health care for many, many years.

  12. This really makes me sick they are people too and for them to act as if they’re just a disease is sickening the ones in the state House and any other place like that they’re the ones that are the disease stand up and fight for these people they can’t help the way they’re born

  13. I just hope these Senators who voted for this bill,someday wil be old and get dementia, and whoever says “oh we will just starve them to death because they are a burden”. What has happened to this society, this makes me sick to my stomach..And the insurance companies are PUSHING this. People pay into insurance month after month, year after year, sometimes don’t even go to the Doctor, then when they need it, they are going to be starved to death. I don’t think So!!!
    Oregon has stooped to a new low!!

  14. I DO NOT SUPPORT BILL SB 494,IS WORSE ABUSE THAN IVE EVER HEARD OF,MY GOD YOU SENTAORS YOU ARE NOT GOD,YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO MAKE THIS A LAW TO KILL OLDER PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA,MY AUNT LIVED TIL101 WITH IT,AND STILL KNEW PEOPLE,MY MOM 100YRS,

  15. Does include people who have left a living will directing that have no food or water? If so. how can Oregon, a state,t hat allows assisted suicide justify such a law. I have o
    no skin in this game either way unless they want my moldering shell down from Alaska or up from Panama depending on whee I end up if my mind goes. I don’t keep alive as a potted plant. Let me go softly into that good night. One can only rage against the dying of the light for so long.

  16. While I don’t live in Oregon, I stand with those who oppose this bill. How could anyone in conscience vote for “such a barbaric and satanic bill”? I hope the good people of Oregon will remember this when the particular state senator[s] are up for election. That is their chance to bring the state back to “sanity”. Thank goodness that Senator Betsy Johnson voted “no”!!

  17. Looks like it’s time to move out of Oregon. My morals and values are not reflected here. Life is not valued from conception to the elderly anymore. As an RN, I will not obey this law. I answer to the same Almighty that everyone else does. When the time is right, God will deal with each individual according to what they’ve done.

  18. This law is sick and how anyone could believe this is OK. They will meet their maker one day.
    I work with many Dementia patients and the thought of such cruelty is unbearable.No one knows the suffering they could go through in the quest to save the mighty dollar.Think again we’re not God.

  19. This bill is criminal. Charges must be made for abusing the government. We cannot accept this behavior. This is terribly wrong and should be stopped immediately! No one in their right mind can possibly agree with this. God help us all!

  20. This bill is wrong and those in support must not be tolerated. We the people cannot allow our elected officials to behave in this manner. They have crossed the line with their limits of authority. This is not their job and our taxes (and insurance premiums) are not intended to pay for those kinds of decisions to be made by them. They do not have the power or the right to do this.

  21. I just emailed the Alzheimer’s Association about this. They should be defending those patients and fighting against this bill.

  22. This needs to go viral! My Mom had Dementia and finally Alzheimer’s and lived many wonderful years with me and I am outraged over this!

    This is what happens when you live in a liberal state with a liberal Governor and the corrupt Democratic party ruling! People it is time for a change and the way that is done is at the poles.

    I guess if you can’t kill enough babies with abortion then you take up the slack by killing seniors! God help us all…..mike

  23. Looks like the Red States will have to enact a travel ban on Oregon for forced killing of their most frail and incapacitated burdens, er citizens.

  24. The Nazis wanted to dispose of unwanted types too; Democrats at their favorite past time strike again. First came making the aborting of up to 9 months legal,than came the vote against to protect babies that survived the the abortion so they can be murdered conscious,aware,and VERY much human for you scumbags that feel an unborn isn’t human yet.. Now Oregon wants to pass a bill so you can “dispose” of the mentally disabled like gramps with senility or Alzheimer, murdering them by denial of food and drink. Senate Bill 494 passed out of the Senate by 17-13. All Senate Democrats voted for the bill except Senator Betsy Johnson. All Republicans voted no except Senator Jeff Kruse.When Dems push this national,pray your Dem ass doesn’t get senile .

    1. Unfortunately, this bill was reintroduced in the next legislative session as HB 4135 and despite our best efforts, it passed.

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