This post originally appeared at Fellowship of the Minds
The state of Oregon has gone down the proverbial slippery slope, from legalizing assisted suicide to active euthanasia of people without their consent.
On Feb. 27, 2018, Oregon’s state Senate passed House Bill 4135 — a bill that paves the way for healthcare representatives to remove access to food and water for Oregonians with dementia and Alzheimer’s who are not dying, effectively starving them to death.
On February 16, Oregon’s House passed HB 4135, in a party line 35(D) vs. 25 (R) vote.
The chief sponsors of the bill are all Democrats — the openly lesbian House Speaker Rep. Tina Kotek (D) and Senators Floyd Kozanski (D) and Elizabeth Steiner Hayward (D).
Oregon Right to Life explains:
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. Removing it from statute has legal consequences.
If HB 4135 is passed a person who appoints a healthcare representative, but makes no decisions regarding end of life care, would be granting his or her healthcare representative the power to make a life ending decision for the principal. They would have the power to remove access to food and water, even when the principal is not in one of the four statutorily defined end of life situations, and even if this is not the will of the principal.
Indeed, a supporter of HB 4135, Bill Harris, had gone to court in order to starve his wife who has dementia. He testified that he supports HB 4135 because he was unable to starve his wife under current law.
Oregon state Rep. Bill Kennemer (R) said:
“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.”