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Please, don't die in Idaho

by Marcine Doyal
| June 25, 2010 9:00 PM

Perhaps, we should inform all our elderly friends and relatives they should not move to Idaho. Maybe, we should go so far as to tell all of our friends and relatives regardless of age not to even visit us. Don't have a serious accident or illness while here. Don't find yourself in a hospital or under a doctor's care. Your caregiver could let you die. A new law goes into effect July 1. Caregivers have the right to refuse end-of-life care to you. They can do this if they find end-of-life care morally objectionable. WHAT?

Gov. Butch Otter had objections to the bill but didn't veto it. He didn't send it back to the legislature, so, by law it becomes a law. He had to consider the ramifications of the bill. Let's see what would they be. Endanger the lives and rights of everyone in the state, even if they have a living will, or upset the Republicans who own Idaho. Yes, own Idaho. Only a property owner has a right to say what can happen to their property. Isn't every man/women and child in Idaho the property of Republicans? This attitude of the ruling party with their moral objections just keeps going further and further into our personal lives. When are the reasonable people of Idaho going to call a halt to the shame these persons with their "I know what is morally right and you don't" attitude bring on our state?

My husband and I are an elderly couple with a living will. My husband recently found himself in the emergency room with a very low heart rate. He was treated and his heart rate improved but the doctor on duty came into the room and announced, "If his heart stops, I'm walking out the door." He immediately walked out the door. I was stunned. The nurses told me they would do everything they could to resuscitate my husband. But, what if the doctor ordered them to stop even if we had a living will and this low heart rate was an anomaly and he could still be alive and active? His heart did not stop and he was transferred to a room and spent several days in the hospital. I brought a copy of the living will to the hospital and copies were made and placed in his records. He is fine today and we plan on having an activity-filled summer.

This could be our last summer to enjoy. My husband has Alzheimer's disease. He wants to see a Mariners game. He wants to visit Ketchikan again, where he once lived. He wants to take a cruise around the lake and a seaplane ride. We can do this this year as we now are unencumbered as in past years. You can say that maybe if his heart stopped it may be a blessing. That is true, but we are responsible adults and make responsible decisions. Neither of us wants to be a burden on our families or society. We made that morally responsible decision and put it in writing.

A power of attorney and a living will are legal documents but our legislature is saying pooh-pooh to that. "We make the moral rules" is what they are telling us. Hopefully, come November, responsible people will say "enough" and tell the legislature that the citizens of Idaho make the rules for Idaho. And, hopefully, we will not lose any person in Idaho to a "morally objectionable" caregiver.

Marcine Doyal is a Coeur d'Alene resident.

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