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More legislation in Illinois deals with ending a person’s life

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(The Center Square) – Another bill has been introduced in Springfield dealing with end of life options for the terminally ill.

Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison’s Senate Bill 2644 would establish a statewide electronic registry that would contain Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms, which detail what type of medical treatment a critically ill patient does and does not want.

“How much or how little treatment a person receives at the end of their life should be up to each individual instead of the one-size-fits-all approach,” said Morrison, D-Lake Forest, during a news conference Wednesday. “This measure will enable physicians to access forms detailing patients wishes in a single, accessible location.”

Currently, POLST forms can be maintained in hard copy or electronic format. Morrison’s measure would establish a single location to hold all POLST forms through the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, making it easily accessible to physicians throughout the state.

The Illinois Family Institute released a statement and said it suspects the move is in preparation for physician assisted suicide, which has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly.

“We believe it’s in the best interest of a patient to keep his written end of life wishes among his close family members, especially the one he has chosen to be his health care power of attorney, and not to be made available in a statewide registry,” the statement read.

State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, is the sponsor of The End of Life Options for Terminally Ill Patients Act, which would allow terminally ill adults to have the option to get prescription medication to end their life.

A group called Stop Assisted Suicide Illinois is taking a stand against the measure.

“I believe that the role of a physician is to affirm the lives of patients, to relieve suffering and give compassionate, competent care as long as our patients live,” said Dr. Kevin Garner. “Assisted suicide ushers in abuse, discrimination and injustice.

Morrison’s measure passed the Senate and is now headed to the House for consideration.