Bill To Rewrite Oregon's Advanced Medical Directives Passes Senate

The legislation would allow people to appoint a healthcare representative if they become incapacitated.

A bill to rewrite Oregon’s advanced medical directive form passed the Senate Tuesday.

Republicans are worried it erodes protections for people receiving end-of-life care.

Oregon was the first state in the nation to enshrine advanced directives in its statutes.

Essentially, the forms allow people to appoint a healthcare representative if they become incapacitated. The forms also allow people to specify what types of medical interventions they don’t want.

“What we found over time is that the form is not very patient friendly,” said Jessica Adamson with Providence Health & Services. 

She said it’s tough for patients to anticipate what type of care they might need.

House Bill 41-35 would establish a committee to rewrite the form.

Republicans like Sen. Jackie Winters worry it would erode protections for patients and transfer power to healthcare representatives.

"We are talking about life and death decisions, and the legislature should have the primary duty in ensuring that the Advance Directive form is crafted correctly, and that the language and directions are clear," she said.

"This responsibility should not bend not punted to an outside group," said Winters.

Democrats say any changes require another vote of the legislature for final approval.

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