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Posts Tagged ‘Rep. John Whitmer’

Crosier family before Simon’s death

Kansans for Life’s top priority pro-life bill, Simon’s Law, has been sent to a receptive Gov. Sam Brownback for his signature.

Kudos goes to the tireless efforts of the Scott and Sheryl Crosier family for launching the grassroots campaign, in their infant son’s name, to enact a law which will save lives and solidify parental rights.

In final action Thursday, the Kansas House voted 121-3 in favor of Sub SB 85, Simon’s Law. The measure had already been approved 29-9 by the Senate two weeks ago, and requires:

  • Parents receive both written and verbal notification before a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) is placed in a child’s medical file. Parents can then allow or refuse the order.
  • Parents and patients of any age, upon request, have the right to receive hospital policies concerning “denial of life-saving care” (sometimes referred to as medical futility policies). There is no mandate that hospitals have such policies.

Rep. John Whitmer (R-Wichita) carried Simon’s Law on the House floor with precision and in a heartfelt manner.  He recapped that Simon Crosier was a medically-fragile infant with Trisomy 18 whose death was caused by denial of resuscitation because a DNR was placed in his medical file –without his parents’ knowledge or consent.

Rep. Brim

Rep. Shelee Brim (R-Shawnee) was first up to speak in support of Sub SB 85 during House debate Wednesday. She referenced a close friend who had been urged to abort a child due to a “dire” diagnosis of anencephaly and spina bifida. Her friend refused and that ‘child’ is now twenty. In remarks committed to the House Journal, Rep. Brim said,

Little blessings like Simon may be on Earth for a matter of minutes, hours, or years. These vulnerable babies are not yet able to speak for themselves and I feel that their parents are their voices– NOT the doctors. We may not know the reason for the brevity of a baby’s life, but there is a reason. Simon’s life taught an important lesson and my hope is that we learn from this.”

Rep Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, commended the efforts to negotiate the final language with medical and disability experts and produce what is “not only a good bill, but a great one.”

Special thanks goes out to Representatives Kevin Jones (R-Wellsville) [see video] and Randy Powell (R-Olathe) [see video] who were the chief sponsors of the House bill, joining with 28 co-sponsors, including three practicing physicians. (See more Simon’s Law support videos here.)

Rep. Jacobs

Rep. Trevor Jacobs (R- Fort Scott) explained his vote in support of Simon’s Law,

I sincerely believe that one of government’s most essential and valuable responsibilities is to protect the life of its weakest and most vulnerable citizens, and that is the life of a child. In the Hebrew language, “Simon” means “to listen or to hear.” I have heard the cry for help and for justice [and] stand for the sanctity of life.”

Kansas stands alongside the Crosier family and other families who testified about victimization by medical discrimination and unilateral DNR placements. We hope other states are now encouraged to enact Simon’s Law.

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Simon Crosier & parents

The weather outside in the capital city of Kansas today was dreary and rainy, but a raft of sunshine could be felt under the capitol dome this morning when the Kansas House passed Simon’s Law with a unanimous voice vote.

Tomorrow,  in “final action,” the individualized vote tally will be recorded. Simon’s Law, Sub SB 85, already passed the Senate 29-9-2 March 16, and it will be heading for signing to a receptive Gov. Sam Brownback.

The importance of this measure for restoring dignity to, and protection for, medically marginalized infants and children should not be understated.

Testimonies in support of Simon’s Law came from numerous families whose children were treated disrespectfully and even denied life-sustaining care due to being “labeled” as “incompatible with life.”

The bill was named for Simon Crosier, whose parents have been conducting a grass roots campaign against the imposition of DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders without parental consent. His story was part of the introductory remarks given by the bill-carrier of Sub SB 85, Rep. John Whitmer (R-Wichita).

Rep. Whitmer

“Simon Crosier was born on September 7, 2010. On his 3rd day of life he was diagnosed with full Trisomy 18, a chromosomal disorder, and his life –and sadly the quality of his medical care and treatment– changed dramatically after that diagnosis. You see, many doctors declare Trisomy 18 as “incompatible with life,” despite evidence of the contrary and of course those who survive for months, years and even decades.

Simon drew his last strained breath at 10:45am on December 3rd, 2010. Imagine watching your child take his last breaths, his oxygen saturation levels plummeting and the medical professionals doing nothing to intervene. It wasn’t until AFTER Simon’s death that his parents discovered there was a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order in his medical file which explains why the medical professionals stood around and did nothing.

His parents did not know about, nor did they consent or even discuss this with ANY of the medical personnel prior to the execution of that DNR order. Passage of Senate bill 85 would prevent any other family from having to go through what the Crosier family has had to endure.

Specifically, Senate bill 85 addresses: instituting DNRs and similar physician’s orders; petitions to enjoin; resolution of parental disagreements; required disclosures of policies by medical facilities and physicians; and existing law concerning emergency health care. Simon’s Law goes a long way toward ensuring that medically fragile children are not discriminated against because of a diagnosis.”

Kansans for Life congratulates the expert presentation and management of debate by Rep. Whitmer and was edified at the variety of legislators speaking in defense of this bill. More tomorrow.

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Rep. Humphries

Rep. Weber

Members of the Kansas House Federal & State Affairs committee heard testimony Tuesday on the DISCLOSE ACT, HB 2319, which requires that clinics list some basic professional information about staff abortionists .

For context, in Kansas, the abortion transaction is largely contracted online. After a call or email contact to the clinic, a woman is instructed to download the clinic consent form, time-stamped at least than 24 hours before the abortion.

By law, the form must include reference to the state Woman’s Right to Know website— with extensive information including a list of Kansas pregnancy assistance centers and an interactive website about gestational development.

What remains hidden from the woman when she “signs” the consent, is information about who specifically will be doing the abortion.Instead, the clinic lists the names of their staff abortionists, without adding one shred of basic professional data about them.

The woman contemplating an abortion in any Kansas clinic is unaware that

some of the abortionists commute from outside Kansas, 3-7 hours driving distance, to reach the clinic –where they don’t have local hospital privileges.

The attorney for the South Wind abortion business, Bob Eye, discounted hospital privileges as “not advancing women’s health.”

He was rebutted by Rep Susan Humphries (R-Wichita) who said that — just using abortion proponents’ assertion that only 1% of women are hospitalized after abortion–  is enough of a consideration to be a valid health concern for women. In Kansas, 1% would be 69 women of an annual total of 6,941 abortions in 2015.

For elective medical procedures in contexts other than abortion, the patient can easily learn about a practitioner from word of mouth and visits to medical offices. This is not what is happening for abortion. Rep. Chuck Weber (R-Wichita) remarked that women considering abortion should not be denied relevant information, leaving them to rely on “Google.”

CHairman Barker

Chairman Barker

Rep. Whitmer

Rep. John Whitmer (R-Wichita) described the goal of the DISCLOSE ACT as transparency, and asked the Planned Parenthood lobbyist, Elise Higgins, “what are abortion clinics trying to hide?” She replied “nothing” yet went on to decry the bill as aiming to “undermine confidence in highly qualified physicians.”

Perhaps Higgins was trying to deflect from the fact that some women may question why “highly qualified” physicians find themselves at age 75 and 76 driving long-distances to perform abortions for Planned Parenthood.

The House Federal and State Affairs Chairman, John Barker (R-Abilene), did not announce when the bill will be voted upon.

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