Monday, April 11, 2005

Get ready for the Ohio legislature to invade your hospital room

State Sen. Jeff Jacobson, 614/466-4538, will be introducing a bill to give prosecutors and the state's Attorney General the power to present evidence to probate courts before the court determines whether to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment or nutrition and hydration. Jacobson, 614/466-4538, and Jim Jordan, 614/466-7584, circulated the following letter to Ohio Senate members.


To: All Senate Members
From: Sens. Jeff Jacobson and Jim Jordan
Date: April 8, 2005
RE: Co-Sponsorship Request – Preserve Life Legislation

The recent, highly publicized tragedy surrounding the death of Theresa Marie Schiavo illustrates the need for Ohio’s laws to be written in a manner that ensures our families do not find themselves in similar situations. Our laws dealing with health decisions must be specific, clear, and fair to all affected parties and protect our basic rights; especially when an individual does not have the capacity or ability to ensure that their rights and/or wishes are represented.

Therefore, we are proposing legislation that:

· Clarifies that an individual’s guardian, spouse, child(ren), parents, or a majority of siblings all have a right to intervene when determining whether to withhold or withdraw nutrition and hydration in the absence of a living will, durable power of attorney over healthcare, or express consent. Also, if one or more of the siblings (but not a clear majority of all of one’s siblings), grandparents, or next of kin attempt to intervene, the probate court will be required to appoint a physician to advise the court in its determination to withhold or withdraw nutrition and hydration. Current law establishes specific individuals who are prioritized in a list of classes. Presently, only the highest priority class available can decide to withhold or withdraw nutrition and hydration; those individuals in a lower priority class who disagree would not be consulted until the matter is considered in probate court. This proposal would enable any priority-class individual to have a voice in preserving their loved one’s life.

· Adds grandparents to the priority list of individuals who may withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment or nutrition and hydration.

· Gives all family members additional time to object to withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments. Family members are currently only given 48 hours to object to the decision to withhold or withdraw treatment.

· Enables the attorney general or prosecuting attorneys to present evidence to probate courts before the court determines whether to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment or nutrition and hydration.

Should you require additional information about our proposal or if you wish to co-sponsor this legislation, please contact Greg Saul (466-4538), by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2005.



Rep. Derrick Seaver, 614/644-9494, intends to introduce a bill that would direct the probate court to "give preference to the first individual" on the priority-class list who will:
(1.) will sustain the life of the individual (2.) will incur the cost of medical care for the individual

Seaver circulated this memo:
MEMO
__________________________________________

TO: All House Members

FROM: Rep. Derrick Seaver

RE: Power of Attorney/Living Will

DATE: March 30, 2005


I will soon be introducing legislation to amend section 2133.09 of the Revised Code to change Power of Attorney/Living Will Law.

Currently, Ohio law lists six individuals who would be given preference in order to make life decisions in the event that a patient is in a permanent vegetative state.

The probate court will give preference to the first individual on the list who:

(1.) will sustain the life of the individual
(2.) will incur the cost of medical care for the individual

If you wish to sign on as a co-sponsor for this legislation, please contact my office at 466-1507 or peggylou.galella@ohr.state.oh.us by April 15, 2005.


Here is the order of preference for the decision-making process:
Ohio Revised Code § 2133.08 B :
(B) For purposes of division (A) of this section, a consent to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment may be given by the appropriate individual or individuals, in accordance with the following descending order of priority:
    (1) If any, the guardian of the patient. This division does not permit or require, and shall not be construed as permitting or requiring, the appointment of a guardian for the patient.
    (2) The patient's spouse;
    (3) An adult child of the patient or, if there is more than one adult child, a majority of the patient's adult children who are available within a reasonable period of time for consultation with the patient's attending physician;
    (4) The patient's parents;
    (5) An adult sibling of the patient or, if there is more than one adult sibling, a majority of the patient's adult siblings who are available within a reasonable period of time for such consultation;
    (6) The nearest adult who is not described in divisions (B)(1) to (5) of this section, who is related to the patient by blood or adoption, and who is available within a reasonable period of time for such consultation.


So much for the sanctity of marriage; Seaver wants to keep you alive indefinitely but only if someone in your family can pay for it. Forget "Sanctity of Life;" how about QUALITY OF LIFE!!!! Our legislature basically wants to outlaw death for rich people!

Ok, let's give these suckers hell. If anyone out there has print or television media contacts, put a bug in their ear to get the word out.

-The Ticked Off Ohioan

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