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Posted on December 6, 2020 at 3:30 AM

Michigan House Resolution 314 has been reported out of committee. It affirms the right of patients and families to direct health care decisions.

“Whereas, The protection of human life is a compelling state interest. The laws of this state have long upheld the right of individuals, or their designated health care advocates or family members, to direct their health care and make medical treatment decisions”

“Whereas, Medical circumstances can arise where medical professionals determine that a patient’s treatment should not continue based on subjective, non-medical factors, such as quality of life. These decisions can put patients at risk of unjust and premature death. Disputes over treatment decisions have led to highly-publicized legal cases that exact a high cost – financially, emotionally, and otherwise – on all parties involved”

“Whereas, Due to recent restrictions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic, some hospitalized patients and senior citizens in various facilities have been isolated, creating unprecedented circumstances where family members cannot directly interact with their loved ones and are unable to reasonably assess their status. These scenarios reinforce the Legislature’s duty to vigilantly protect the rights of Michigan residents”

“Whereas, Medical decision making — whether to receive, refuse, or withdraw such care — should be made by the competent patient, the patient’s duly designated surrogate in an advanced medical directive, or close family members”

“Whereas, The fundamental rights of life and liberty in the Bill of Rights demand that a robust and protective legal due process be guaranteed when a decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment is in dispute. If notice to withdraw life-sustaining care is contested by a patient advocate or family member, care should not be withdrawn until a full and fair hearing is conducted by an impartial decisionmaker to protect the patient’s rights”

“Whereas, A just society must err on the side of life and maintain that it is in the best interest of a patient to continue to live and receive the treatment needed to sustain life” 

“Now, therefore, be it . . . Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we affirm the right of patients and families to direct health care decisions and urge all three branches of state and local governments to affirm this right.”

Rep. Ann Bollin

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