Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Senate won't rush to complicate the dying process

Proposal inspired by Schiavo case stalls in Senate:
In Kansas, a legal guardian can withdraw life-sustaining treatment if two doctors, two ethics committees, or one of each, certify that a person is in a vegetative state or cannot live without artificial means. There's no judicial review if the guardian obtains the necessary documents and the person under care hasn't specified their wishes in writing.

Under the bill, such cases would go to district court, with the guardian and the person under their care having separate attorneys. The attorney for the patient or disabled Kansan could seek a jury trial, in which a unanimous verdict would be required.

"I believe we ought to err on the side of life," Attorney General Phill Kline, a supporter of the bill, said during an interview. "There's a difference between prolonging death and actively providing for death."

This cleared the house, but Senate president Steve Morris sent it to committee for discussion. He said "It's a pretty important issue that needs some discussion and not just getting rubber-stamped." Exactly. And anything that pisses off the Pfisherman can't be all bad.