New Article: Who is the Person in the Hospital Bed?
By Sue Checchio, MSc
After a sudden illness while on vacation and an emergency scan that revealed a tear in her esophagus, Annie was airlifted to a trauma intensive care unit. By the time she arrived, in addition to the tear, she had sepsis, failing kidneys, and she suffered a heart attack.
Annie was unmarried and had no children. Her family lived out of state and, unfortunately, could not visit for weeks at a time. I was only able to visit with her once before the COVID protocol severely limited visitors.
How could her doctors know who our beloved Annie was, with almost no visitors to tell them, and a breathing tube that prevented her from talking?
Oregon will no longer be enforcing the residency requirement for its medical aid in dying (MAID) law, and will initiate removal of the residency language from the law. This opens the door for individuals from other states to seek MAID in Oregon without having to establish residency in the state.
This settlement was in response to a federal lawsuit alleging that the residency requirement of Oregon's MAID law violated the U.S. Constitution's right to equal treatment. The lawsuit was brought forth by a physician in Oregon who was represented by our friends at Compassion & Choices. More information can be found here.
This settlement will likely serve as precedent for advocates in other states to press for their state's MAID residency requirement to be dropped. New York's proposed bill, the Medical Aid in Dying Act, A. 4321/S.6471, does not include a residency requirement. For all other medical procedures, treatment, or care, a patient does not have to be a resident of NY, so there is no justification for having a residency requirement only for medical aid in dying.
Webinar: Maintaining Autonomy Over Your Healthcare in Later Life
All of us face the possibility of incapacity in later life and decisions about our health care may need to be made by a trusted family member or friend.
Will your representative – called the health care agent – have the legal authority to speak for you? How will your agent know what your wishes are? How do you make sure your wishes, as expressed by your agent, will be honored by your physicians? If there are disagreements among your family regarding medical decisions, how will they be resolved? Does the law allow you to refuse medical treatment that may be life-sustaining?
Join us for a webinar with experts in the field of end-of-life care and law to discuss these and other issues concerning your rights, and strategies to enforce those rights. This event is co-hosted with Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC.