Idaho House Says 'Conscience' Trumps Patients' End-of-Life Rights

Mar 07, 2011, 19:09 ET from AARP Idaho

Passage of HB 187 Fails to Ensure Advance Directives for End-of-Life Care are Honored – AARP Takes Roll Call on Bill to Its Members

BOISE, Idaho, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some Idaho lawmakers want state residents to learn someone else's conscience on their death bed.  Today, in a crushing move against Idahoans' legal rights regarding their end-of-life care, Idaho's House passed a bill again forcing advance directives and living wills to take a back seat to a health care professional's "conscience."  Billed as a "narrow fix" to the state's conscience law, House Bill 187 makes matters worse by continuing to allow all Idaho health care professionals in Idaho to refuse to honor a patient's legal wishes, and making it harder to fix the original law on the issue.  

AARP opposed the bill and, as part of its "accountability vote" efforts, will work to publicize the roll call from today's vote to the 180,000 AARP members in Idaho – ensuring they know how their legislators voted.    

"This bill puts politics before patients in Idaho and allows resident's legal end-of-life care and treatment to come second to someone else's conscience," said Jim Wordelman, State Director for AARP in Idaho.  "We're letting our members know what their legislators did or didn't do at the State Capitol to protect their legal rights."  

While being touted as a fix to the impact Idaho's "conscience" law has on rendering advance directives useless, House Bill 187 still allows for health care professionals in Idaho to refuse to honor the legal documents.  AARP is calling the bill a "smoke and mirrors" approach.  The poorly crafted legislation also only applies to doctors, while the conscience law states all health care professionals (nurses, dieticians, and pharmacists) can say "no" to someone's advance directive.  Advance directives are legal documents which express the type of care and treatment the patient does or doesn't want to receive at the end of their lives.

"Today the Idaho House did nothing to address the concerns of state residents worried that their advance directives aren't worth the paper they are written on," added Wordelman.  "The real solutions to this issue have been ignored and so have the thousands of constituents who contacted their legislators urging they tackle the problem."

The following roll call on today's House vote is being sent to all AARP members in Idaho.  AARP's "accountability vote" efforts also include the looming Senate vote on HB 187.  

HOUSE ROLL CALL ON HOUSE BILL 187:

District & Representative

Voted FOR

Voted AGAINST

1-Eric Anderson, Priest Lake


X

1-George Eskridge, Dover


X

2- Shannon McMillan, Silverton

X


2-Richard Harwood, St. Maries

X


3-Vito Barbieri, Dalton Gardens

X


3-Phil Hart Hayden

X


4-Marge Chadderdon, Coeur d'Alene

X


4-Kathleen Sims, Coeur d'Alene

X


5-Robert Nonini, Coeur d'Alene

X


5-Frank Henderson, Post Falls

X


6-Tom Trail, Moscow


X

6-Shirley Ringo, Moscow


X

7-Jeff Nesset, Lewiston

X


7-John Rusche, Lewiston


X

8-Ken Roberts, Donnelly

X


8-Paul Shepherd, Riggins

X


9-Lawerence Denney, Midvale

X


9-Judy Boyle, Midvale

X


10-Gayle Batt (substitute for Pat Takasugi, Wilder)

X


10-Darrell Bolz, Caldwell

X


11-Steven Thayn, Emmett

X


11-Carlos Bilbao, Emmett

X


12-Robert Schaefer, Nampa

X


12-Gary Collins, Nampa

X


13-Brent Crane, Nampa

X


13-Christine Perry., Nampa

X


14-Mike Moyle, Star

X


14-Reed DeMordaunt, Eagle

X


15-Lynn Luker, Boise

X


15-Max Black, Boise

X


16-Grant Burgoyne, Boise


X

16-Elfreda Higgins, Garden City


X

17-Bill Killen, Boise


X

17-Susan Chew, Boise


X

18- Julie Ellsworth, Boise

X


18-Phylis King, Boise


X

19-Cherie Buckner-Webb, Boise


X

19-Brian Cronin, Boise


X

20-Joe Palmer, Meridian

X


20-Marv Hagedorn, Meridian

X


21-John Vander Woude, Nampa

X


21-Clifford Bayer, Boise

X


22-Richard Wills, Glenns Ferry

X


22-Pete Nielsen, Mountain Home

X


23-Jim Patrick, Twin Falls

X


23-Stephen Hartgen, Twin Falls

X


24-Leon Smith, Jr., Twin Falls


X

24-Sharon Block, Twin Falls

X


25-Wendy Jaquet, Ketchum


X

25-Donna Pence, Gooding


X

26-John Stevenson, Rupert

X


26-Maxine Bell, Jerome

X


27-Scott Bedke, Oakley

X


27-Fred Wood, Burley

X


28-Dennis Lake, Blackfoot

X


28-Jim Marriott, Blackfoot

X


29-Ken Andrus, Lava Hot Springs

X


29-Jim Guthrie, McCammon

X


30-Ron Lacey, Pocatello


X

30-Elaine Smith, Pocatello


X

31-Marc Gibbs, Grace

X


31-Thomas Loertscher, Iona

X


32-Janice McGeachin, Idaho Falls

X


32-Erik Simpson, Idaho Falls

X


33-Jeff Thompson, Idaho Falls*



33-Linden Bateman, Idaho Falls

X


34-Mack Shirley, Rexburg

X


34-Dell Raybould, Rexburg

X


35-JoAn Wood, Rigby*



35-Lenore Barrett, Challis

X




*Did not vote

** How a legislator votes on issues is only one factor in evaluating his or her legislative performance, which should also include such things as constituency services and committee work.

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SOURCE AARP Idaho



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