NRL News

Bill would threaten Oregonians at the end of life with the loss of their rights to food and water

by | Feb 2, 2018

By Lois Anderson

Editor’s note. This alert comes from Oregon Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate. Lois Anderson is the executive director.

Last year, with your help, Senate Bill 494 was defeated. Had this bill passed, it would have put Oregonians with dementia and Alzheimer’s at risk of losing their basic rights to food and water. Unfortunately, this bill will be reintroduced in the 2018 session as House Bill 4135 on Monday.

Time is limited this 35-day session, and bills can move forward extremely quickly. Please contact your legislators today by clicking here.

HB 4135 is backed by corporate insurance companies attempting to save money on the backs of Oregonians at the end of life. It removes critical patient protections by allowing a surrogate to make decisions contrary to the patient’s will. This puts vulnerable patients, who may not have supportive advocates, at risk of starvation or dehydration.

A 65-year old woman from Medford did not have a supportive advocate. She had dementia and an advance directive stating she did not want tube feeding. She was able to still perform basic tasks. She could communicate and eat solid foods. However, her husband wanted to take away her food and water arguing that no tube feeding meant NO food and water at all! Under current law, he was not allowed to deny her basic food and water. If HB 4135 becomes law, dementia patients like this man’s wife will be at risk.

To find out who your elected officials are and to call or email them now, click here [].

Time is not on our side this session. That is why you must take action now. Tell your legislators you oppose HB 4135 and do not want Oregonians at the end of life to lose their rights to food and water[].

Thank you for helping us stop this bill.

Lois Anderson

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