Vote ‘yes’ on Measure 1

Opponents of Measure 1 on the North Dakota November ballot, also known as the Human Life Amendment, have made various claims about the amendment and alleged potential impacts on end-of-life care decisions, including the use of advance health care directives. Those end-of-life decisions are important to me because I have ALS.

There are many others who have written sad letters to the editor about those end of life issues.

Did you know that the North Dakota Century Code section 23-06.5-01 states: “Every competent adult has the right and responsibility to make the decisions relating to the adult’s own health care, including the decision to have health care provided, withheld, or withdrawn.”

To that end, Chapter 23-6.5 of the Code explicitly authorizes the use of “health care directives” that either give health care instructions, appoint someone to make those decisions for the patient, or both.

North Dakota law also explicitly states that the administration of medications and procedures for the sole purpose of and necessary to relieve a person’s pain or discomfort do not constitute homicide or assisted suicide. Similarly, pursuant to state law the withholding or withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment is not considered causing death.

Even if the Human Life Amendment was self-executing – which it is not – and even if the provisions patently conflicted with the existing statutes so much as to implicitly repeal them – which it cannot – the right of North Dakotans to determine their own health care, as well as the difference between killing and natural death, is recognized by the United States Supreme Court.

No act by the State of North Dakota can trump these rights recognized under the federal constitution.

Measure 1 does not repeal any of these statutes. It merely states: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.”

It does not mention, much less repeal, any existing statutes.

So as you can see there is no affect on my health care directives nor anyone else with serious health problems.

The only thing Measure 1 will do is stop the killing of North Dakota children even though those children are still in the womb of their mothers.