In an emotional ceremony, Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation named for Simon Crosier into law. Simon’s law is the first of its kind in the nation.
Brownback told a crowd of Simon’s family, friends, and legislators that he was pleased and honored to sign legislation that prevents doctors from putting do-not-resuscitate orders in children’s medical charts without parental notification.
“Simon’s law will insure families can secure the full support of the medical community as they fight for the lives of loved ones,” Brownback said.”…Simon’s story is tragic and short. This law ensures that no parent again experiences this injustice.”
Simon Crosier was born in 2010 to Sheryl and Scott Crosier. He was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder, three days after his birth in a Missouri hospital.
Throughout Simon’s stay in a neonatal intensive care unit, Sheryl Crosier fought with medical staff who shut off his heart monitors, refused to give him breathing treatments, and begged to give Simon breast milk. She later learned medical staff were reluctant to give Simon breast milk, because his chart only allowed comfort feeds. Comfort feeding isn’t enough sustenance for nutrition or to sustain life.
“After three months of tenaciously fighting for his life, Simons’ life was cut short,” Brownback said before signing the landmark legislation.
The Crosiers learned later that Simon’s care was limited, because a physician placed a DNR in his chart. Sheryl hugged Brownback and addressed the crowd through tears.
Justice and joy, I’m feeling right now,” she said. “We know that every life has meaning, and every life has purpose and dignity. We feel like this is a restoration, so to speak.”
— Rep. Kevin Jones (@kevinicolejones) April 7, 2017
The law also requires hospitals to give parents and prospective patients access to its denial of care policies, sometimes referred to as futility policies.
Scott said he hopes other states will follow Kansas’ lead. Prior to attempting to get the law passed in Kansas, the Crosiers fought for Simon’s law in Missouri, the state where Simon was born.
“Every other state needs to get on board and follow Kansas,” he said. “Our neighbor to the east, which is currently my home state, needs to get off their high horse, and the doctors need to quit blocking this bill.”
Sheryl thanked Kansans for Life, a pro-life lobbying group, and several Kansas legislators for their efforts on the bill. Mary Kay Culp, executive director for Kansans for Life, said it’s a misnomer that babies born with Trisomy 18 always die.
“That’s not true,” she said. “…A frightening number of children with chromosomal disorders are denied life-saving medical treatment.”
Despite its failure in Missouri, Kansas lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the legislation. Only three legislators voted against it in the Kansas House. In the Senate, it passed 29-9.