to the editor of the StarTribune by JANET CONN, President of C&C-MN.
It’s Not Their Call
State Representative Tim Wilkin wants to enact a
"Minnesota Starvation and Dehydration
of Persons with Disabilities Prevention Act."
This sounds like a good thing,
until you look at what it actually would do.
The law Wilkin is proposing takes life and death medical decisions
out of the family’s and doctor’s hands,
when someone is unable to communicate for himself.
Unless you had a valid Advance Health Care Directive
in place that said otherwise,
your doctor would be legally required
to continue pumping food and water into your stomach
even if you were in a persistent vegetative state
with no chance of ever regaining consciousness.
Even if your spouse was telling the doctors
“My husband and I have talked about just such a situation
and he told me he did not want to live this way.”
Even if you had reached the end stage of a terminal disease
when a patient naturally stops wanting to eat
and passes into a semi-conscious or unconscious state.
Such intimate and personal choices belong to the patient’s family,
in consultation with their physicians.
Let’s not allow Mr. Wilkin and the State Legislature
put the government in charge of decisions that rightfully belong to us.
President, Compassion & Choices of Minnesota