Florida Congressman Drafting Bill in Wake of Schiavo Case
BY TAMARA LYTLE
The Orlando Sentinel
WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Spurred by the recent Terri Schiavo drama, U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon is writing a bill that would require doctors and hospitals to provide food and fluids to incapacitated patients unless they have living wills or there is no doubt that they are dying.
The Indialantic Republican said Tuesday that his legislation would apply to all patients on Medicare or Medicaid.
Last month, Weldon sponsored an extraordinary piece of legislation aimed at keeping the severely brain damaged woman alive.
His most recent effort grew out of that fight, which ended when Schiavo's feeding tube was pulled under a court order. She died on March 31.
Weldon said his proposal would apply to the elderly, poor and disabled who are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, but might be adopted by the private sector as well.
Weldon said Schiavo's case highlights a trend toward doctors withholding care for people they deem to have a low quality of life. Without a federal standard, "you're going to see more and more people who are less and less disabled" being denied care.....