Communications Department

Idaho Senate Bill 1114 Throws Patient Rights Out the Windo

Mar 23, 2009 | 2009 Press Releases

Idaho Senate Bill 1114, which has passed the Idaho state Senate, is currently awaiting hearing before the Idaho House Health and Welfare Committee. If passed, the bill would authorize health care providers to deny life-sustaining procedures, including food and fluids through feeding tubes or IV, against the will of patients and their family members.

The bill establishes a procedure by which healthcare providers can override patient and family decisions to choose lifesaving treatment and care, including patient’s wishes in their written advance directive. The bill’s dangerously vague language means that health care providers would be able to deny treatment to patients they think have a poor “quality of life,” as arbitrarily determined by a hospital ethics committee.

“In short, the bill dangerously overrides patient and family rights,”said Burke Balch J.D., Director of NRLC’s Powell Center for Medical Ethics.  “It takes choices away from the patient and family, instead placing life or death decisions in the hands of a hospital ethics committee or the health care provider acting even without an ethics committee. In effect, the passage of SB1114 would mean the deaths of those patients the health care providers deem unworthy to live.”

 Spokespersons, including independent experts, are available for interviews on this legislation. To arrange an interview, please contact the National Right to Life Committee Communications Department at 202-626-8825 or

The National Right to Life Committee is the nation=s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.  National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.