Today, the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) to ensure no one has to die alone, even in a pandemic. Senate Bill 1405, sponsored in the Senate by Republican Minority Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods), ensures a family member may be by the side of their loved one in their final moments while in a healthcare facility.
“No one should have to die without a family member by their side. No one should have to learn their mother or their husband is suffering rapid decline but be denied the opportunity to give them love and compassion in their final moments,” said Bos. “Unfortunately, many were denied this opportunity.”
Due to executive orders in response to COVID-19, no exceptions existed to allow for end-of-life visitation with a family member in a healthcare facility. Even as mitigation rules were changed in response to the pandemic, residents in skilled nursing homes, extended care, or intermediate care facilities were denied even one visitor. Under SB 1405, at least one visitor, not including a member of the clergy, must be permitted to visit a loved one. Healthcare facilities are empowered to set safety guidelines and ensure that neither the patient nor visitor are endangered by the visit, but no longer could they be outright denied due to an executive order.
“This legislation recognizes the dignity of every life and ensures no one else will be forced to face death alone,” said Bos.
As SB 1405 was amended in the House, it now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the Governor for his signature. Bos is hopeful it receives the same strong level of support and will be signed into law without delay.