Senators Deadlock on Parker Jensen Bill

Senators Deadlock on Parker Jensen Bill

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- A bill to give parents near-absolute power over life-and-death medical decisions for their children deadlocked at the Utah Capitol today.

It's the first so-called Parker Jensen bill to come up for a vote.

Parker Jensen's parents led a highly publicized and successful battle last summer against state efforts to gain custody and force chemotherapy on the boy for cancer.

Senator Dave Thomas' bill was a major shift for state policy. The Weber County Republican would have put parents' choice over the health or safety of a child.

Opponents said it just went too far.

The Senate health committee tied four-to-four on the bill, defeating it for now.

The bill was opposed by the child-welfare agency, the attorney general's office, an association of prosecutors and the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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