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Posted on: 03/20/12
A very important bill, sponsored by Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, was approved yesterday by the Idaho Senate on a vote of 24-10. SB1348 provides new protections for the sick and elderly by making it specifically illegal to withdraw food, water or medication from a patient unless that patient has specifically directed a hospital or doctor to do so under the provisions of a Living Will.

This legislation will help to prevent medical staff or hospice care directors from deciding that a patient should be pushed toward death because their life is "no longer worth living". And it changes the status of food and hydration as some kind of extraordinary medical treatment on a plane with mechanical breathing aids.

The bill also removes the ability of medical staff to impose their own philosophical beliefs upon a patient. Using federal language, SB1348 prohibits discrimination against the disabled in providing care and requires that doctors use a more objective standard in determining which treatments to provide to disabled or elderly patients. The language of this proposed law could be of critical importance should the Obama Administration's goal of rationed medicine be realized.

We have sought for some time to fix current law, which allows a doctor to deny medical treatment to a patient when they determine it is "medically inappropriate" or "futile".  Since those terms are presently undefined, medical staff with a bent toward "duty to die" ethics have a fairly wide latitude to impose their philosophy on patients unable to protect themselves.

All Senate Democrats voted against the legislation. They were joined by three Republicans: Joyce Broadsword (Sagle), Dan Johnson (Lewiston) and Tim Corder (Mountain Home).

SB1348 now goes to the House, where efforts will be led by Rep. Erik Simpson.

Our sincere thanks to Sen. Nuxoll, Senate Leadership and Sen. Curt McKenzie for facilitating the movement of this important pro-Life bill.

Posted on: 10/05/11
The old Hemlock Society - now repacked as "Compassion & Choices" - sent out a press release this week announcing that it was opening a new office in Washington, D.C. A permanent presence in Congress is an outgrowth of the work the assisted suicide advocates did during the debate over ObamaCare.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer lauded the development, characterizing their agenda for "death-on-demand" as a matter of empowering consumers.

The rest of America should properly shudder - at least so long as Obama is president. As his health care bureaucracy under Kathleen Sebelius continues to be erected, new regulations are being developed to insert the federal government into every aspect of health care. And there, a welcome member of the inner circle, will be the lobby advocating for an early end to seniors and the disabled.

Idaho and many states have rejected their philosophy and definition of "compassion". So this organization is following the path that many social radicals have followed in past decades: using the dimwits in Congress to imperiously impose nationally what the people and their state leaders have refused. (Abortion is the perfect example). They shall raise money from embittered wealthy sons and daughters, or spoiled media stars to spread around the nation's capital. Before long, new language will be inserted into massive legislation requiring that we accept early demise as a matter of "good" social policy.

In the years ahead, the pro-Life movement will have to become increasingly aggressive about challenging DC politicians on their views regarding end-of-life care.


Posted on: 04/07/11

Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed SB1070 into law on Tuesday, establishing very important public policy for Idaho and her future.

We are surrounded by states (Oregon, Washington and Montana) who have bought much of the Death Lobby's arguments about the "right" to end one's life on one's own terms. It is an extension of the thinking which drives the abortion debate. And just like in abortion procedures, the Death Lobby seeks to compromise the integrity and ethics of the medical community to accomplish its ends.

The Ban on Assisted Suicide comes none too soon.

Kathryn Tucker and her group, Compassion & Choices, targeted Idaho last year and sought to replicate their success in neighboring states.

This new law effectively pulls the welcome mat out from underneath Tucker and her group.

While we celebrate this important victory for human dignity, one should not underestimate the cancerous growth of Tucker's philosophy within our borders. In many ways, the fight over Conscience Rights for Health Care Professionals is a stalking horse for the Death Lobby. While AARP suggests that it does not officially endorse "aid-in-dying" - their aggressive tactics and misleading efforts in attacking the Conscience Law demonstrate their commitment to a legal system in which doctors, nurses and pharmacists are to be little more than robotic servants of their patients. If a person wishes to end his life prematurely, then the doctor or nurse should be compelled by law to comply.

In their self-centered world, the Bill of Rights applies only to themselves. Doctors with moral reservations about a patient's demands should have no option but to obey. Just as in abortion cases where the baby doesn't really exist, the current crop of AARP leadership willfully ignores the other human beings in the health care equation - doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others.

This is dangerous ground, indeed.

We have ample historical evidence of societies which strip health care professionals of their conscience rights and ethical duties.

Thankfully, Governor Otter has helped push back against that development with his endorsement of the Assisted Suicide Ban.

We are also grateful for the leadership of lead sponsors Sen. Russ Fulcher and Rep. Cliff Bayer.

We predict this new law will be a meaningful contribution to Idaho's long-term moral and social welfare.


Posted on: 03/31/10

The tragic case of Terri Schiavo, sentenced to death by courts willing to accommodate the desires of a husband itching to "get on with his life", is back in our consciousness today. This powerful woman still speaks to us.

Father Frank Pavone will celebrate a special Mass tonight in Florida, marking the "International Day of Prayer & Remembrance for Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters".

Brandi Swindell issued a press statement this morning, recalling her time in Florida during the battle to save Terri's life:

"My heart broke every day outside of Terri's room thinking about the pain and suffering she was experiencing," Swindell said. "As a nation, we must offer the neediest of our society compassion, dignity and justice. Regrettably, we forced Terri to die the most painful and barbaric of deaths."

Indeed, Terri's demise continues to stand as a warning post to all of us as we come to grips with the federalization of our health care. Just yesterday the NY Times posted a story about the Left finally admitting that ObamaCare is designed with built-in cost saving mechanisms: Death Panels and Abortion.

Appearing on ABC, Paul Krugman acknowledged that the federal bureaucracy will use its new powers to deny treatment for seniors and the disabled, arguing that this will save the government "quite a lot of money". Of course the great fear here is that these bureaucrats will be making decisions from a pure utilitarian perspective - as opposed to a sanctity of life perspective.

It is more than ironic that the AARP - who raised such a ruckus about our conscience bill and its potential impact on Living Wills - signed on to support these Death Panels. There is no doubt that federal bureaucrats will have the power to over-ride any patient's Living Will or advance directive by denying payment for life-sustaining treatment.

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