The Legislative Process and Healthcare Lobbying

The Legislative Process and Healthcare Lobbying There are many steps involved in the legislative process. The original bill must be approved by most of the involved parties and may be a modified version before the bill becomes a law. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the legislative process and how it effects healthcare support for the end of life. There are three main areas which will be reviewed after explaining the legislative process: how our current legislation effects support for end of life, the issues that are for and against it, and lastly my position on this political issue.Part 1Legislative Process In looking at the process of how a bill becomes a law, it is important to understand the roles of the government and how these three branches, The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, promote a balance of power and validate accuracy over our constitution. When trying to make something a law, they must first write a bill. This starts with the legislative (Senate, and House of Representatives). The bill then goes to a committee made up of Representatives or Senators who will meet in a small group to research, talk about, and make changes to the bill. If the majority vote for and pass the bill, it moves to the other house to go through a similar process of committees, debate, and voting. ‘How Laws Are Made and How to Research Them.” E | A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies | USAGov, USAGov, www.usa.gov/how-laws-are-made. The enactment of a law always requires both chambers to separately agree to the same bill in the same form before presenting it to the president. When the bill reaches the president, he can choose to reject or approve the bill. If the bill is approved, it is at that time considered a law. It is then left up to the Judicial Branch to interpret and carry out the law. Part 2Analysis of Political Issues including pros and cons In 2014, there was much controversy over the story of Brittany Maynard, a woman diagnosed with terminally ill brain cancer who chose to move from California to Oregon to end her own life. She chose Oregon because at that time, Oregon was one of only five states where death with dignity was authorized. The publicity of this story along with her decision resulted in Ohio Legislature, for the first time considering a death with dignity bill, SB249. “Senate Bill 296.” Organizational Chart | The Ohio Legislature, www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-296, called the End Of Life Option Act. Many people look at this process as “assisted suicide,” as others choose to look at it as a gentler way of dying. In fact, Ohio’s proposed law states that terminating one’s life under the law is not suicide. More recently, April 20, 2017, a couple from Oregon chose to die together in the comfort of their own home, in their own bed after taking lethal doses of medication obtained under the state’s law. In the documentary “Living and Dying: A Love Story”, it is evident of the support they had from their loved ones in their decision. Family stated that knowing this is what they wanted made it easier on them to accept the loss of their parents. Other’s are not so understanding and supportive of the law. I asked several people their opinion on this issue and of course, I received mixed emotions. One friend stated she didn’t support the idea, however if a patient had no chance of survival and their pain level was unable to be managed then she felt they should have the choice to die with dignity in a safe environment monitored by medical professionals. There are several pros and cons to this issue: a few pros would be it gives a person the right to die, ends their life without suffering. Cons would be that it may force a patient to end their life rather than feel they will be a burden to their family, it is morally unethical. Several requirements will have to be met if Ohio passes this law. Some include: age 18 or older, must be mentally capable of making and communication health care decisions, terminally ill resulting in death within a short period of time. A full list of requirements can be found on the Ohio’s legislature website. Status of the bill – Ohio State Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) introduced SB249, Ohio Aid in Dying Act on Jan. 24,2018 with co-sponsors Ohio State Senators Joseph Schiavoni (D-33) and Kenny Yuko (D-25). A sponsor hearing on the bill took place in April. Student’s opinion on Political Issues While doing the research of this paper, I have found myself agreeing with both sides at times. I have to say that I do not agree with this issue and do not support the passing of Ohio’s End of Life Option Act. I feel it is not our place to say when we pass away. It’s God’s decision and I do not think we should be allowed to play God. I think that people do not think clearly when in a lot of pain and may make rash decisions. Medication to ease one’s pain is different but ending your life is suicide no matter if you are well or sick. In summary, there are many steps in the legislative process. It is important as nurses to have a basic understanding of this to influence health care policy. I have come to realize that everyone has their own “opinion” on a matter. Just because I feel strongly about something doesn’t necessarily mean it is right. Caring for others requires keeping an open mind.  ReferencesMazzei.M. (2018). How a Bill Becomes a Law. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://seach.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=98402114&site=eds-live&scope=site&authtype=cookie,ip,custid=in“Ohio.” Death With Dignity, www.deathwithdignity.org/states/ohio/.“Managing End-of-Life Symptoms.” American Nurse Today, 6 Sept. 2017, www.americannursetoday.com/managing-end-of-life-symptoms/.“Senate Bill 296.” Organizational Chart | The Ohio Legislature, www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SB-296.“Ohio End of Life Options – Educating & Advocating for Death with Dignity.” Ohio End of Life Options, ohiooptions.org/.

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