House Rewrites Senate End-Of-Life Bill

Apr 23, 2013

House committees are rewriting a bill about end-of-life care that the Senate previously scaled back.

The House Human Services Committee voted seven-to-four in favor of the bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with a prescription medication.

Rochester Representative Sandy Haas says the committee put in safeguards that members of the Senate say are necessary.

“We have all the safeguards that they have in Oregon," Haas said. "We have a 15-year track record in Oregon with this law. We have a five-year track record in Washington, making sure that people have truly, truly exhausted all the opportunities that are available before considering what admittedly can be a drastic step.”

Those safeguards include requirements that patients consult with physicians and have to make the request for the deadly medication more than once.

Patients would also need to enroll in a hospice and complete an advanced directive.

The bill still needs to be considered by another committee before it’s forwarded to the full House.