The Oregon state House recently killed a piece of legislation which was widely condemned by pro-life groups. According to LifeNews, the bill (designated Senate Bill 494) would have allowed for the starving and dehydration of mentally ill patients past the point of death. Though first introduced as a “simple update” to existing to Oregon’s current healthcare, the bill removed vital safeguards which put patients (particularly those with dementia) at risk. After being effectively struck down by the House Judiciary committee, the pro-life group Oregon Right to Life issued this statement,
“We are so thankful to our pro-life Oregon senators who stood so strongly against SB 494 and gave momentum to the opposition, which our pro-life House representatives then use to help send SB 494 to a dead end. Had this bill become law it would have been used to end the lives of innocent Oregonians who are not in the active dying stage but are afflicted with mental illness. Thousands of Oregonians wrote to their legislators expressing horror about this bill that exemplifies just how extreme Oregon’s politicians have become.”
Senate Bill 494 was initially pushed hard by the insurance lobby, which was possibly colluding with the healthcare industry to save money on mentally ill and elderly patients.