GO! Bulletin
We did it together! Now let's join together to thank our legislative leaders for ensuring Oregonians experiencing disability have legislation that protects their access to support from people they trust while they are hospitalized and have support when making end of life decisions.
 
The Oregon State Legislature unanimously passed Senate Bill (SB) 1606 yesterday which guarantees that Oregonians with disability can have access to people they trust to provide disability related supports whenever they are in the hospital.

Senate Bill 1606 also ensures that healthcare providers do not condition providing treatment on a person having a POLST, advance directive or other instruction relating to the administration, withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition.

Senate Bill 1606 will take effect immediately upon signing by the Governor, which could be as early as next week.

Take a moment to thank SB 1606 Chief Sponsors: Senate President Peter Courtney and Senator Gelser | Co-Sponsors: Senators Hass, Manning, Monnes Anderson and Representatives Dexter, Hayden, Helt, Keny Guyer, Nosse, Post, Prusak, Salinas, Schouten, DB Smith, Wilde and Zika | Legislators who were also instrumental in SB 1606: House Speaker Kotek, Senators Knopp and Girod, and Representative Drazan.

To help make it easy, we have provided the recipient emails in a group below that you can simply cut and paste into the TO section of your email:
Sen.PeterCourtney@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.SaraGelser@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.MarkHass@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.JamesManning@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.MaxineDexter@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.CedricHayden@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.CheriHelt@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.AlissaKenyGuyer@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.RobNosse@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.BillPost@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.RachelPrusak@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.AndreaSalinas@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.SheriSchouten@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.DavidBrockSmith@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.MartyWilde@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.JackZika@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.TinaKotek@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.TimKnopp@oregonlegislature.gov ; Rep.ChristineDrazan@oregonlegislature.gov ; Sen.FredGirod@state.or.us
 
We encourage you to also include your State Senator and Representative. Enter your home address to verify who represents you: www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html .
The leaders and advocates who made SB 1606 a reality:

SB 1606 was introduced during the First Special Session of 2020 after an outpouring of testimony from hundreds of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers from across the state about the urgency of the situation. 

Your voices were heard! To the hundreds of advocates from across the state who sent in testimony to demonstrate the importance of this legislation – Thank you for sharing your compelling and very personal stories.
 
At the heart of this legislation is our champion, Senator Sara Gelser, who amplified the voices of people with disabilities and their families from across the state and took action so that no Oregonian with disabilities would ever have to be alone in the hospital without the supports they need again. 

To Senator Gelser – Thank you!

Another key partner who worked relentlessly to protect the rights of Oregonians with disabilities during this COVID pandemic is Disability Rights Oregon, and specifically Executive Director, Jake Cornett and Legal Director, Emily Cooper.  

To Jake Cornett & Emily Cooper - Thank you!

Also at the center of this effort is Leslie Sutton, the Policy Director for the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. Leslie worked tirelessly with advocates and advocacy organizations throughout the State to rally support for this life-saving legislation.  

To Leslie Sutton – Thank you!
A Closer Look at Senate Bill 1606 :

Section 1: Ensuring health care providers do not condition providing treatment on a person having a POLST, advance directive or other instruction relating to the administration, withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition.
 
Section 2. Hospitals licensed in Oregon state must allow a patient with a disability to designate at least three support persons, and to allow at least one support person to be present with the patient at all times in the emergency department and during the patient’s stay at the hospital, if necessary to facilitate the patient’s care, including but not limited to when the patient has a disability that:
·        affects the patient’s ability to make medical decisions or understand medical advice;
·        needs assistance with activities of daily living and the hospital staff are unable to provide or less effective at providing such assistance;
·        has communication barriers and requires the assistance of a support person to ensure effective communication with hospital staff; or
·        has behavioral health needs that the support person can address more effectively than the hospital staff.
 
A hospital may impose conditions regarding support persons to ensure the safety of the patient, support person and staff such as requiring a support person to wear personal protective equipment and follow other protocols to prevent the potential spread of infection; be free of any symptoms of contagious diseases; and submit to health screenings; limit the number of support persons allowed to be present with the patient at a time; and limit the total number of support persons allowed to be present during the course of a day.
 
A hospital must ensure that a support person designated by a patient is present for any discussion in which the patient is asked to consider hospice care or sign a document which would allow the withholding of life-sustaining procedures, unless the patient declines that support.
 
SB 1606 does not affect the hospital’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations under state or federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
 
Hospitals must inform patients upon admission of the patient’s right to support persons and must post the hospital’s policy and requirements for support persons at entry points to the hospital and on the hospital’s website. Hospitals must implement protocols to inform patients of their rights as it relates to this new legislation by August 1, 2020.
 
This new legislation allows the Oregon Health Authority to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of Sections 1 and 2 of this mandate.     

Now please join me in taking a few moments to send a quick note of thanks to the legislators and advocates who made this life-saving legislation a reality! - Cheryl Cisneros, GO Project Coordinator
About the Oregon DD Coalition
The Oregon DD Coalition advocates for DD services on behalf of and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and support organizations in Oregon.

We influence DD service and community support systems and legislation by communicating with a common, consistent voice – creating better opportunities for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Interested in signing up for the GO! Bulletin or
becoming a member of the Oregon DD Coalition?
 1775 32nd Place, Suite F, Salem OR 97301