PHOENIX — The Alliance Defense Fund is applauding Arizona’s enactment Tuesday of a bill known as “Jesse’s Law.” The new law, inspired by the amazing ordeal of Jesse Ramirez, closed a loophole in the decision-making process for patients who are physically unable to communicate their wishes regarding medical care.
“Human life is valuable in its own right, and everyone deserves the chance to recover,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. “This law ensures that seriously injured patients will not suffer the consequences of a hasty decision that could result in death by starvation or dehydration.”
The new law establishes a court process to obtain an emergency order to prevent a surrogate decision-maker from withdrawing the administration of food or fluid to an incapacitated patient.
Ramirez was seriously injured in a May 30, 2007, car accident. Barely 10 days after the accident, Jesse’s food, water, and antibiotics were withdrawn. He was then transferred to hospice where he would have died, but Alliance Defense Fund attorneys were successful in restoring food, water, and treatment to the young Gulf War veteran.
Ramirez, who was eventually transferred from hospice care to a rehabilitation facility, walked out of the facility in October, 2007, and continues his remarkable recovery at home.
ADF ally, the Center for Arizona Policy, promoted the bill, H.B. 2823.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.