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Idaho House Committee Says "Conscience" Trumps Patients' Rights
Date:3/11/2010

instructions for end of life care are now set to be subject to someone else's conscience," said Jim Wordelman. "AARP commends Representative Higgins for taking a stand for older Idahoans; it's unfortunate her attempt to put patient's needs and wishes first in Idaho fell on deaf ears."

The Health Conscience bill enables any health care professional to object to and refuse to perform any end of life health service that violates his or her conscience. The bill's vague language will mean any end of life service could be denied, irregardless of the patient's living will and advance directives, which provide instructions for exactly how to address end of life care issues.

"We've heard from our members and the public across the state as have their legislators on this issues – those pleas have been ignored today," added Wordelman. "This bill places the needs of a health care professional above those of the patient, and that's the wrong direction for health care in Idaho. We hope the House recognizes this bill for what it is -- bad policy."

The bill was introduced by Senator Chuck Winder, and co-sponsored by Senators Shirley McKague, Russell Fulcher, '/>"/>

SOURCE AARP Idaho
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