- MCC Supports Medical Ethics Bills Before House Committee
- Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Victim Impact Statement Bills With MCC Support
- Senate Passes Human Trafficking Bills that Address Victim Needs, Now Await House Action
- Marriage Redefinition Trial Begins February 25th for Michigan
- Michigan Catholic Teen Writes Legal Brief on Behalf of Juvenile Lifers
MCC Supports Medical Ethics Bills Before House Committee
On Tuesday, February 18, the House Committee on Regulatory Reform considered Senate Bills 575–578, sponsored by Senators Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) and Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge), regarding the investigation of medical misconduct violations. Under the legislation, members of medical disciplinary subcommittees and licensing committees would be required to reveal personal conflicts of interest that emerge within violation investigations. These bills have already passed the Senate and are now awaiting further action in the House. Michigan Catholic Conference indicated its support for the bills, which would better protect against professional violations [Link no longer available —Ed.] and protect the health and safety of patients.
Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Victim Impact Statement Bills With MCC Support
Under current Michigan law, parents have the ability to give a crime victim impact statement for their minor child to explain how a crime has impacted the minor and the family. Once the child turns eighteen, this right disappears. In some instances, sentencing regarding a crime takes place after a child has turned eighteen, even though the crime was committed while they were a minor. House Bills 5262 and 5263, sponsored by Representatives Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) and Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage), would maintain the parents’ or guardian’s right to issue a statement after their child turns eighteen if the child was a victim prior to turning eighteen. Michigan Catholic Conference expressed its support in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week on Tuesday, February 18. Both bills were unanimously passed by a 4–0 vote. Following this action, the legislation will await further consideration from the full Senate.
Senate Passes Human Trafficking Bills that Address Victim Needs, Now Await House Action
As mentioned in the January 31, 2014 Lansing Update, legislation recently passed the Senate Families, Children, and Seniors Committee with Michigan Catholic Conference support. Several of these measures included:
- SB 586, sponsored by Senator Tory Rocca (R-Sterling): allows a juvenile convicted of prostitution to fall under the jurisdiction of a probate family court, so the court could determine if the person is a victim of human trafficking and refer them to the Department of Human Services (DHS) for services.
- SB 587, sponsored by Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield): provides for counseling programs for children who are found to be victims of human trafficking.
- SB 592, sponsored by Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph): establishes medical services for victims of human trafficking so they can receive the medical and psychological care they need.
This week, on Tuesday, February 18, the full Senate also approved these important measures, which will now be sent to the House to await further testimony and voting.
Marriage Redefinition Trial Begins February 25th for Michigan
Next Tuesday, February 25, a U.S. District Court judge will begin hearing arguments in a Michigan case, DeBoer v. Snyder, concerning marriage redefinition and the state’s second parent adoption law. Currently, the judge has scheduled for the trial to last eight days, with testimony from both sides of the issue. Look for further updates and news throughout the trial, while the Catholic Church and Michigan Catholic Conference continue to promote the true meaning of marriage.
Michigan Catholic Teen Writes Legal Brief on Behalf of Juvenile Lifers
In last week’s Lansing Update, MCC mentioned what has recently happened related to the issue of juvenile life without parole in Michigan. This week, the Detroit Free Press wrote an interesting story [Link no longer available —Ed.] about a 16-year-old Catholic from Father Gabriel Richard Catholic High School in Ann Arbor and her efforts to move the issue forward by writing a legal brief to the Michigan Supreme Court. Rev. Richard Lobert, chaplain at the school, had the following to say about her actions:
“She’s ripped a page out of Catholic social teaching, and that’s pretty exciting when you have a real, live student who is trying to implement what the bishops and the Holy Father … has called for. We should be champions of the underdog, voices for those who are voiceless, and we should be seeking to promote justice and mercy in any way we can.”
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