Thursday, March 17, 2005

Terri Schiavo - Congressional Action

I missed this yesterday. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), wrote an article for National Review Online, explaining how some members of Congress intend to act to save Terri Schiavo and others in similar circumstances:

Last week, I introduced my first piece of legislation in the Senate: The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act of 2005. This bill would ensure that incapacitated individuals — like Terri Schiavo — would have their due-process rights of habeas corpus when a court orders their death by removal of nutrition, hydration and medical treatment. My colleague from Florida, Congressman Dave Weldon has introduced identical legislation in the House of Representatives.

This seems to be the actual verbiage of the bill, though I couldn't find confirmation of that yet.

Martinez describes it like this:

This bill is very narrowly written and a balanced approach to acknowledging the rights of individuals to refuse consent to medical treatment with the right to consent to treatment to preserve life. The Incapacitated Person’s Legal Protection Act would only apply when the following criteria are met:

  • There is a contested judicial proceeding because of a dispute about the expressed previous wishes or best interest of a person currently incapable of making a choice about lifesaving treatment;
  • There is no valid prior written directive on wishes from the now-incapacitated individual; and
  • There is a court order authorizing or directing the withholding of food, fluids, or medical treatment to sustain the individual’s life.
Senator Martinez encourages everyone to contact the Senators and Congressmen quickly to voice their support fot this bill. Time is critical.

According to Terri's Fight.org:

March 17, 2005 – The Senate is now considering HR 1332, an act titled the Incpacitated Persons Legal Protection Act. This act could save the life of Terri and many disabled people. Please tell your senator and others you want their support.
Lots of contact information at the Terri's Fight.org link above. Should take no more than a few minutes of your time to drop your Senators and Congressmen a note.

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