Oregon passes bill ‘allowing mentally ill patients to be starved to death’

NEWS   END OF LIFE   Fri Mar 2, 2018

Fr. Mark Hodges

SALEM, Oregon, March 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The first U.S. state that legalized doctors killing sick patients has now passed a bill that critics say will allow healthcare givers to starve to death mentally ill patients. 

Oregon’s Senate passed House Bill 4135 on Tuesday (17-12) and in the House two weeks ago (35-25). Touted as an update to Oregon’s Advance Directive Form, critics say the bill paves the way for healthcare givers to remove access to food and water for vulnerable Oregonians with illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) Executive Director Lois Anderson says the effect of the bill is that “vulnerable Oregonians are left without protections and their right to basic care like food and water.”

“The advance directive was put into Oregon statute back in 1993,” State Rep. Bill Kennemer (R) explained, adding that it was “very well vetted” and “thoroughly discussed.” 

“If it were to be removed from statute, I fear the legal protections we carefully placed there could be jeopardized, potentially harming end of life decisions for vulnerable patients,” he added. 

Under the old advanced directive, caretakers may not decide to starve a mentally impaired patient to death unless that caretaker has been given decision-making authority by the patient before becoming mentally impaired (with four rare exceptions).  

HB-4135 reverses that provision, allowing a mentally impaired patient to be starved to death — even against his or her will — unless the patient has made a contrary advanced directive.

“If signed into law, HB-4135 would endanger Oregonians with dementia and Alzheimer’s, allowing their healthcare representatives to remove their access to food and water,” the ORTL website explains. 

“Over the last 25 years, Oregonians at the end-of-life stage have been protected by the current advance directive.  Removing it from statute has legal consequences.”

“It’s disappointing that House Democrats passed a bill that has obvious and significant problems,” Anderson added

“What limited testimony was allowed in the House Health Care Committee hearing revealed the process has been rushed and will lead to unintended consequences that endanger vulnerable Oregonians,” he said. 

“Oregon’s advance directive is a critical document that deserved more than three weeks of rushed deliberation,” Oregon Right to Life Political Director David Kilada told LifeSiteNews.  

“The disregard every single Democrat in the Oregon Legislature had for the concerns raised about House Bill 4135 was disgraceful.  Stakeholders — including doctors, an attorney, and thousands of Oregonians — expressed concern that the bill would have unintended consequences endangering vulnerable people.  These concerns were ignored.”

The bill now goes to Democrat Governor Kate Brown’s desk for signing into law.  Gov. Brown is praised by abortion groups such as Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood.

Oregon was one of the first states to legalize abortion in 1969 and the first state in the union to legalize doctor-assisted suicide in 1997.

 

Minister says department informed of new allegations of bullying and harassment in the National Museum

Dail hears place ‘racked with allegations of bullying and sexual harassment’ over the past number of years’

‘Millions of euro spent to date on consultants, reports, sexual abuse experts and High Court payoffs.’

Sligo News File.

Minister for Culture and Heritage Josepha Madigan has said her department has been told of new allegations of bullying and harassment in the National Museum.

Responding to questions from Sinn Fein spokesman on Arts, Heritage and Culture Peader Toibin, the Minister said she could not discuss individual cases.

Peader Toibin TD,
Sinn Fein Spokesman on Culture, Heritage

Toibin said that over the past number of years “the National Museum of Ireland has been racked with allegations of bullying and sexual harassment.

“Millions of euro have been spent so far on consultants, reports, sexual abuse experts and High Court payoffs, he said.

“This, of course, does not include the very real damage that has been done to the lives of a large number of people who simply wanted to work in the premier heritage location in Ireland.”

The Minister said she had “no responsibility for the day to day operations of the museum.”

She said, “While I cannot get involved in HR matters, which are a matter for the executive and the board of the museum, my Department has provided additional support,  including sanction for three specific HR positions and two temporary positions for the corporate services area of the museum.

“The chair and the new board were appointed in July 2016 and are implementing change in the museum, as well as preparing new plans to improve the museum’s services to the public over the coming years. My Department and I are supportive of these plans.”

Toibin said the Minister’s response as “very unsatisfactory in a number of ways. Obviously, she is new to the Department, and she may not be aware of the deep and ongoing crisis that has engulfed the National Museum.

“Significant damage has been done to a large number of women who have worked in a building 100 yards from where we sit. These women were in the care of the State because the State had a role during that time as the Department was involved in those particular HR issues. These women could not receive justice. The only way they could do so was to go to the front pages of the national newspapers and tell their stories.

“The most frustrating thing about this is that I have been told that at the start of these allegations a senior person in the National Museum of Ireland gave a report of what happened to the Department, and the Department did not carry out anything. The report does not exist at present. If that initial report had been acted upon none of the Subsequent allegations made by those women would have happened.

“Sitting on hands so far has only meant more people have had to suffer. I urge the Minister to take a hands-on approach to resolving this issue.”

He said, “Adrienne Corless, a former staff member of the National Museum of Ireland, stated about her experience that she would rather vomit slugs than name the truths of her experience in working at the National Museum of Ireland but that if she did not do so, she would spend the rest of her life living with slug-like lodgers from her past working life eating her up from inside.

Josepha Madigan TD,
Minister for Culture, Heritage.

“The deep ramifications of what happened in the National Museum of Ireland are still surfacing. The Minister will be aware of the recently listed third High Court case of bullying at the National Museum of Ireland. There are still questions about a large number of secondments, one of which has been ongoing for the past four years at a cost of €100,000 per annum. I believe that what happened was, in part, the result of a laissez-faire attitude on the part of the Department and previous Ministers.

“Will the Minister continue that process or will she bring it to an end?”

Minister: “In 2017 a staff forum, consisting of representatives of management and the staff, was set up to promote and foster good relations within the National Museum of Ireland. There was also a review of departmental documentation in 2017 which set out a number of recommendations, one of which was that we continue to support the chairperson and the board of the National Museum of Ireland in the introduction and implementation of measures to achieve enhanced HR capacity in the museum, which we have done.

“The National Museum of Ireland is also adhering to the code of practice, which is important. Also, an internal audit conducted in 2017 recommended the establishment of a dedicated HR unit at the museum. The HR policy was reviewed and updated, and there is continual HR training for line managers across all areas of the museum. It is also proposed to develop a museum development plan setting out a long-term direction of travel for the museum.

“I accept that there should never be a workplace in which people have to suffer the indignity of harassment or abuse in any form. I will be taking any step I can in that regard.”