Amputees can get their body parts back for spiritual reasons, new Oregon law says

Aug 23, 2023, 10:52 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Health care facilities in Oregon will be allowed to return amputated body parts to patients for cultural, spiritual or religious reasons under a new law supported by tribes, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The bill, which takes effect on Sept. 24, was spearheaded by St. Charles Health System and leaders of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. For some members of the tribes, keeping a person’s body together is necessary for a smooth transition to the spirit world.

“In our spirituality, one of our sayings is ‘one body, one mind,’” said Wilson Wewa, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs spiritual leader and oral historian. “When there’s amputation, most of our tribal members know that we need to be whole at the time of our leaving this world to the next.”

Previous state law made returning body parts either difficult or impossible. At St. Charles, body parts could be blessed and cremated, with the remains returned to the patient.

But Wewa said cremated remains wouldn’t suffice for some patients, leading them to turn down life-saving procedures.

“It has led to, unfortunately, the death of some of our people because they’ve chosen not to get an amputation,” Wewa said, and “our community, the family of the deceased, had to live with that trauma of losing their loved one.”

Shilo Tippett, a Warm Springs tribal member and manager of caregiver inclusion and experience at St. Charles, said the health system interviewed nearly 80 tribal members last year to get their thoughts on how state law should change.

“The overall picture that we got from community members was that, ‘We should have our amputated body parts back. That’s the way it was before Oregon law, those are our traditions and customs,’” Tippett said.

National News

Associated Press

Former Mississippi Democratic Party chair sues to reinstate himself, saying his ouster was improper

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The former chair of Mississippi’s Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate himself as its leader, arguing that he was improperly ousted in July. Tyree Irving, a former appellate judge who had chaired the state party since 2020, was voted out by a majority of party officials at a […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Remains of Michigan soldier killed in Korean War accounted for after 73 years

DETROIT (AP) — The remains of an 18-year-old Army corporal from Detroit who was killed in the Korean War in 1950 have been identified, officials said Thursday. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Cpl. Lewis W. Hill was accounted for on May 22 after agency scientists identified his remains using dental and anthropological analysis […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

A toddler lost in the woods is found asleep using family dog as a pillow

FAITHORN, Mich. (AP) — A 2-year-old girl who walked away from her home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula alongside two family dogs was found in the woods hours later sleeping on the smaller dog like a furry pillow, state police said. “She laid down and used one of the dogs as a pillow, and the other […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California sues anti-abortion organizations for unproven treatment to reverse medication abortions

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday sued an anti-abortion group and a chain of anti-abortion counseling centers, saying the organizations misled women when they offered them unproven treatments to reverse medication abortions. Heartbeat International, a national anti-abortion group, and RealOptions Obria, which has five anti-abortion counseling centers in Northern California, […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

New York attorney general sends cease-and-desist letter to group accused of voter intimidation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York attorney general’s office on Thursday sent a cease-and-desist letter to a group accused of confronting voters at their homes while claiming to be state election officials and falsely accusing people of committing voter fraud. The letter orders the group NY Citizens Audit to immediately stop any voter intimidation […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Bus carrying high school students to band camp crashes, killing 1 person and hurting dozens

WAWAYANDA, N.Y. (AP) — A charter bus carrying high school students to a band camp hurtled off a New York highway and down an embankment Thursday, killing one person and hurting dozens of others, officials said. The wreck happened in the early afternoon on Interstate 84 in the town of Wawayanda, about 45 miles (72 […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Amputees can get their body parts back for spiritual reasons, new Oregon law says