Although I support the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1439, which protects physicians, nurses, and other health care workers from employment discrimination if they choose not to participate in medical treatments or procedures that could end a patient's life, it is worth noting that this may make it more difficult in some cases for a health care agent to fulfill a patient's wishes as expressed in a living will declaration.
The definition of discrimination includes taking or threatening any adverse action including, but not limited to, termination of employment, transfer, or demotion, and adverse administrative action.
Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, who opposed the bill, told the Arizona Republic that, "A hospital could say it's the policy of this institution that we are not going to provide morphine doses to alleviate pain if the morphine dose could shorten the life of the individual in our care."
Senate Bill 1439 was passed and signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey in March 2017.
Thomas J. Bouman