Senate bill 1439: Whose wishes take priority?

Posted at 4:17 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 22:18:51-05

Should a physician's conscious or religious views take priority over a person's healthcare directive? A proposal is making its way through the Senate that would allow a doctor to consider just that.

If passed, Senate bill 1439 would protect healthcare providers legal action if they choose not to violate their personal beliefs while caring for a patient.

According to the Center for Arizona Policy, this would include cases of abortion and end-of-life directives.

The bill isn't settling well for pro-choice and aid-in-dying supporters.

Dennis Flaherty was diagnosed with a terminal illness two years ago. Over the past 18 months, he has weighed the pros and cons of his disease and how his final days will be spent. He's also a proponent of a person's right to die.

"I would like everyone who is dealing with a prolonged death that's irreversible and incurable to at least have this option at the end; options...not a mandate option," Flaherty said.

However, recently, Flaherty was told that he was misdiagnosed. But he still remains passionate about supporting these end of life bills.

SB 1439 Was introduced by Arizona Senator Nancy Barto (R) District 15. It passed the Human Services Committee on Wednesday 5-2. It will move onto the Rules Committee for further consideration.