One year ago today the Arkansas House Representatives rejected two bad pieces of end-of-life legislation.
The first was H.B. 1685.
This bad bill would have let healthcare workers who are not physicians work through end-of-life decisions with patients and family members.
It did not require healthcare workers making these decisions to have appropriate training in end-of-life care.
The bill also would have made it easier to deny a dying person food or water.
H.B. 1685 received 31 votes. Fifty-five representatives voted against it.
The second was H.B. 1686.
This bad bill would have let healthcare workers who are not physicians complete Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms.
It would have removed an important provision in state law that says a POLST form is not intended to replace an advance directive.
It inadvertently would have prevented consulting physicians — such as palliative care physicians — from completing POLST forms with patients.
H.B. 1686 received 38 votes. Forty-eight representatives voted against it.
Both bills were opposed by several different groups, including:
- National Right to Life
- Arkansas Right to Life
- Euthanasia Prevention Coalition USA
- Family Council
- Northwest Arkansas Respect Life
- Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents
As we keep saying, being pro-life means believing that human life is sacred from conception until natural death.
It means treating human life with respect at every stage of development.
Just like abortion, euthanasia and assisted-suicide are murder, and they violate the sanctity of human life.