Provides certain requirements for health care proxies and death certificates.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requirements for health care proxies and death certificates
PURPOSE: To require a health care proxy to be notarized, requires life ending decisions to be received from two medical doctors and requires death that is caused by the withdrawal of nutrition or hydration to be stated on death certificate.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends subdivision heading and paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 2981 of the public health law, as added by chapter 752 of the laws of 1990 requiring a health care proxy be sworn to before a notary public.
Section two amends subdivision 2 of section 2982 of the public health law requiring the agent in a life ending decision to receive written opinion from two medical doctors, who are not the patients attending physician.
Section three amends subdivision 4 of section 4141 of the public health law by adding a new paragraph (e) to require that if a death occurs as a result of a health care decision by a health care agent and is caused by the withdrawal of nutrition or hydration be stated on the death certificate.
Section four is an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: A health care proxy gives authority to an individual to make health care decisions on ones behalf. A health care proxy should be notarized to ensure that the wishes of the person who is ill are carried out as intended. This bill will protect the most vulnerable and disabled from malicious intent. This legislation would require the agent of a life ending decision to get two independent written opinions from two medical doctors who are not involved in the patients care. This will ensure that the agent has the facts to make a informed decision in determining the patients care. Having two medical opinions will give the patient and his or her agent the proper medical information to ensure that all health care options are explored. In the case of death, the bill also requires that if death occurs as a result of a health care decision by an agent that is caused by the withdrawal of nutrition or hydration that this cause of death be stated on the death certificate.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: S.4346 - Referred to Health 2011: S.4346 Referred to Health 2010: S.811 - Referred to Health/A.5664 - Referred to Health 2009: S.811 - Referred to Health/A.S564 Referred to Health 2008: S.7266 - Referred to Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2477 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. LANZA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requirements for health care proxies and death certificates THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The subdivision heading and paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 2981 of the public health law, as added by chapter 752 of the laws of 1990, are amended to read as follows: Health care proxy; execution
[; witnesses]. (a) A competent adult may appoint a health care agent by a health care proxy, signed and dated by the adult [in the presence of two adult witnesses who shall also sign the proxy]AND SWORN TO BEFORE A NOTARY PUBLIC. Another person may sign and date the health care proxy for the adult if the adult is unable to do so, at the adult's direction and in the adult's presence, and in the presence of [two adult witnesses who shall sign the proxy. The witnesses shall state that the principal appeared to execute the proxy willingly and free from duress. The person appointed as agent shall not act as witness to execution of the health care proxy]A NOTARY PUBLIC AND SWORN TO BEFORE THE NOTARY PUBLIC. S 2. Subdivision 2 of section 2982 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 230 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows: 2. Decision-making standard. After consultation with a licensed physi- cian, registered nurse, licensed psychologist, licensed master social worker, or a licensed clinical social worker, the agent shall make health care decisions: (a) in accordance with the principal's wishes, including the principal's religious and moral beliefs; or (b) if the principal's wishes are not reasonably known and cannot with reasonable diligence be ascertained, in accordance with the principal's best inter- ests; provided, however, that if the principal's wishes regarding theEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05472-01-3 S. 2477 2
administration of artificial nutrition and hydration are not reasonably known and cannot with reasonable diligence be ascertained, the agent shall not have the authority to make decisions regarding these measures; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THE AGENT MAY NOT MAKE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS WHICH WILL EVENTUALLY END THE LIFE OF A PERSON WITHOUT RECEIVING WRITTEN OPIN- ION FROM TWO MEDICAL DOCTORS, WHO ARE NOT THE PERSON'S ATTENDING PHYSI- CIAN, STATING THAT THEY AGREE WITH THE HEALTH CARE DECISION. S 3. Subdivision 4 of section 4141 of the public health law is amended by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows: (E) WHERE A DEATH IS THE RESULT OF THE HEALTH CARE DECISION OF A HEALTH CARE AGENT WHICH CAUSED THE WITHDRAWAL OF NUTRITION OR HYDRATION, IT SHALL BE STATED ON THE DEATH CERTIFICATE. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.