The day after we released our February commentary (www.DeathCaseReview.com/afi-llc-blog/your-rights-and-dignity-afi-llc-february-2022), we were provided this news story about a bill in the Colorado legislature with this purpose – “Colorado hospital visitation rules often keep families from dying loved ones during the pandemic. Is there a better way?” (www.denverpost.com/2022/02/14/hospital-visitation-during-covid-19-colorado-familiy). The bill – Health Facility Visitation During Pandemic - Concerning visitation rights at health-care facilities – is at https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/SB22-053. it was assigned its first committee – known as the ‘kill committee’ in late January, and still sits unheard with no activity. We continue to monitor this bill and plan to testify at all hearings. We ask for you to send your support of the bill to the sponsors, as well as committee members. We have also been contacted by a nearby local newspaper for a story, which is expected to be published soon.
We continue to support SB22-053 “Health Facility Visitation During Pandemic - Concerning visitation rights at health-care facilities” (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/SB22-053). We continue to monitor this bill and plan to testify at all hearings. We ask for you to send your support of the bill to the sponsors, as well as committee members. This undignified injustice must end and rights restored. One other bill we supported for related personal reasons was the patient’s rights to choose off-label medications. This died in the first committee without being heard. We have also been contacted by a nearby local newspaper for a story, which is expected to be published soon.
We continued monitoring SB22-053 “Health Facility Visitation During Pandemic - Concerning visitation rights at health-care facilities” (https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/SB22-053). However, after passing the full state Senate, it was assigned its first House committee – State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs – another ‘Kill Bill’ committee and where it has sat unscheduled since the end of March. We appreciate your support and regret the bill appears to die in the state House without a hearing in its first committee – the legislative session ends 05/12/2022. This, after passing the Senate by 75% in favor. This, like other past bills for the rights of patients and families, is a disgrace to those who find their power more important than the rights, love and dignity of those dying and their loved ones. One party has been responsible for this, and the continuing events of 2020. This undignified injustice must end and rights restored. One other bill we supported for related personal reasons was the patient’s rights to choose off-label medications. This also died in the first House committee without being heard. This indignity has ran so deep, our interview for a human rights story (in February) by a nearby local newspaper – with whom we’ve had a multi-decade relationship with has decided to table the story as having no public interest.
The legislative session ended 05/11/2022 and we expected this bill to die unheard in the House. We are pleased to report we learned this bill was scheduled to be heard before the House State, Civic, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee on 05/09/2022. We submitted written testimony and were able to listen to the heartbreaking testimony of others - one similar to our own, another their two-year son died alone, and others were admitted for non-COVID reasons, tested positive and then separated from their families to die alone; one did recover from a coma and his story was shared - because he was a doctor, his wife was with him the entire time. Two doctors testified of how importance family presence and interaction is. We also learned in 2020 and last year very similar bills died - some of the same Representatives voted no, until they heard these personal stories this year (and, in our opinion - the irreversible injustices have been done). This passed the Committee, then the following Appropriations Committee, and then the full House. It is on the way to the governor to sign or veto. Although we are pleased to see a bill pass and should become law - we are concerned the flurry of amendments in the House changed the bill to allow too many times a family and patient could still be denied. On a positive note, if it becomes law, this will prevent the destructive ad hoc policies of healthcare systems - but still gives them too much ability to set restrictive policies. It might be a win, but with politics as usual - its not the win it should have been. On that note, the only opposing testimony at all hearings was a state hospital association - a group which wants the CDC, NIH, and Congress to set federal policy - not state policy. One Representative pointed out this has been the problem since 2020 - no individual assessments, only blanket assessments by the NIH and CDC. In all committees - only the hardcore supporters of the events and destructive policies of 2020 voted no.
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