By a vote of 17-13, the Oregon Senate recently passed a bill, SB 494, that would have removed a critical safeguard in the state’s physician-assisted suicide law that prevents patients with dementia or mental illness from being starved or dehydrated against their wishes. The bill would have allowed a health care representative to make end-of-life decisions for patients, even if contrary to instructions in the patient’s advance directive document.
Fortunately, however, the bill was effectively killed in the House when it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which had stopped considering bills on June 2.
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