Death with Dignity laws are an important aspect of senior end-of-life planning. These laws allow adults who are terminally ill and mentally competent to request prescription medication which can hasten their death, instead of prolonging their life. Currently, Ohio does not have such a law on the books; however, a bill is expected to be introduced into the senate during 2017.
Of course, with the GOP in control of government, it’s expected there will be a fight against these laws at the federal level. Learn everything you need to know about the Death with Dignity Ohio Act, what it means for you, and how it can affect your future planning.
Death with Dignity Ohio
The Death with Dignity Ohio Act, if approved this year, will allow Ohio to join five other states who have similar acts, and one in which physician-assisted death is legal because of a ruling by the Supreme Court. These kinds of statutes are supported by up to 70% of Americans.
GOP vs. Death with Dignity
The GOP currently has control of Congress for the first time in over a decade, and end-of-life or assisted death acts are one of the top items on their agenda. The Republican congress believes that these kinds of acts act as a market for death, and that opposing them forms an important part of their pro-life stance.
The GOP claims that such acts place vulnerable patients at the mercy of a healthcare system that just wants to get them out the door and doesn’t care about their well-being. The truth of the matter, of course, is probably far more complex. Recently, GOP lawmakers blocked a DC version of this law, and current fears are that they could take federal action to block states who have similar statutes.
Working with Your Doctor
While Ohio currently doesn’t have end-of-life statutes in place, if you’re facing a terminal illness, it’s important to discuss the situation with your doctor. It’s possible that very soon such a law may be in place, and the earlier you discuss the situation with your PCP, the better off you’ll be. Not every doctor believes in this kind of procedure, and some may refuse to help. If that’s the case it’s good to know in advance, so you can find a physician who will help when the time comes.
Of course, you also want to discuss things with your family. Should your disease progress to the point where you can’t make the decision yourself before a law comes into play, you’ll want someone close to you, to have medical power of attorney so they can make these kinds of decisions on your behalf.
Getting Help from an Attorney
End-of-life planning should never be put off. It’s important that you make vital decisions about what will happen, so that not only your future, but your family’s, can be protected and stabilized. From drafting your will and managing your estate to living wills and medical power of attorney, a qualified estate planning lawyer in Ohio can help you every step of the way. If you need help starting on or modifying your end-of-life plans, call the attorneys at Stano Law today.