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. 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. 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.