Living Will Legislation

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Colorado Bar Association committee will meet this month to discuss whether the state needs new legislation to avoid Terri Schiavo's experience.

The 41-year-old Schiavo died Thursday after a long feud over whether she should be kept alive by a feeding tube. The tube was eventually withdrawn.

In Colorado, patients can write living wills specifying how they want to be treated if they are hospitalized but unable to make their wishes known.

But the law doesn't address what happens if someone doesn't have a living will. That could leave their life-and-death decisions up to a judge.

Legislators say it's unlikely any bill concerning living wills will be considered this year so late in the legislative session.

James Dobson is head of the conservative Christian ministry Focus on the Family based in Colorado Springs. He is vowing to push for stricter legal standards on denying life-sustaining measures to patients.

Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald says the state has no business intruding on private decisions about living wills.


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