The California ProLife Council opposes Senate Bill 481 as worded.
This proposed measure lacks recognition of its own assertions. “Informed consent” for those lacking capacity cannot be fulfilled by merely presenting a note or otherwise communicating that such a declaration has been made and then presenting said note to said incapacitated individual.
Current Law has provided several layers of advocacy for dependent adults and those who are not of sound mind. SB 481 appears to intentionally dismiss and ignore these protective measures.
The serious nature of any medical intervention, and the new change in medical ethics allowing medicine to be used as a lethal implement against a patient’s very life requires the utmost consideration to be given to protecting dependent and vulnerable patients. This bill does the opposite.
This measure should explicitly prohibit any medical decision which would possibly result in the patient’s harm or abandonment. “Terminal Medicine” via intentional sedation to overdose, or removal of life-sustaining treatment such as nutrition and hydration, or any deleterious medical action must be strictly prohibited in order to ensure a patient’s due process rights.
Additionally, Section 1418.8 should explicitly notify not merely the incompetent patient but employ the specific cross-notification procedures used in all other aspects of adult protective services. At the minimum the appropriate Long-Term Care Ombudsman and County Adult Protective Services should be notified of such a decision of incompetency as outlined in SB 481. California’s existing advocacy system is designed to ensure the due process rights and legal protections guaranteed under the United States and State Constitution. These protections should not be skirted.
If You agree, Add your Name to the Petition Below!