Relates to establishing a certificate of still birth.
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Hassell-Thomps
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing a certificate of still birth
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Directs the Department of Health to establish a certificate of still birth.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends the Public Health Law to create a new section 4160-a, requiring the Department of Health to establish a certificate of still birth. The registrar with whom a fetal death certificate is filed shall issue, upon the request of the parent(s) named on the fetal death certificate, a certificate of still birth. If both parents are deceased at the time of the stillbirth, the sibling(s) may request a certificate of still birth, Requires the person who prepares a fetal death certificate to inform the parent(s) in writing of the right to receive a certificate of still birth. Requires the person who prepares a certificate of still birth to include the name given to the stillborn fetus by the parent(s), if a name is provided by the parent(s).
States that the certificate of still birth shall not constitute proof of live birth, and shall not be used to calculate live birth statistics. Allows parents to restrict disclosure of information provided on the certificate of still birth to the parent(s) named on the certificate of still birth, their lawful representatives, authorized personnel of the Department and the registrar. Defines "stillbirth" to mean the unintended intrauterine death of a fetus that occurs after the clinical estimate of the 20th week of gestation. Allows a certificate of still birth to be requested and issued regardless of when the stillbirth took place.
Allows the registrar who issues the certificate of still birth to charge a fee equal to the fee authorized by Public Health Law for certificates of birth and death, which can be reduced or waived for financial hardship.
Applies the provisions of this section to New York City. For the purposes of this section, in relation to New York City, "registrar" is defined to mean the official of the City of New York with whom fetal death certificates are filed.
JUSTIFICATION: Under the Public Health Law, a stillbirth, like any fetal death, "shall be considered as a birth and as a death." Unlike live births, however, the law says the Health Department "shall not be required" to issue a birth certificate in the case of a fetal death. As a result, birth certificates are not issued for a stillbirth. A fetal death certificate, however, is always issued. Many families who have suffered the agony of a stillbirth want a certificate acknowledging the process, with contractions, labor and delivery, that resulted in a stillbirth. They feel it would ease their pain and help in their healing process.
This bill would require the Health Department to issue a certificate of still birth when requested by the family. A stillbirth is defined in the bill as "the unintended intrauterine death of a fetus that occurs after the clinical estimate of the twentieth week of gestation." As with the fetal death certificate, it would allow the parents to record a name for the fetus on the certificate. The bill specifies that the certificate is not proof of a live birth. The bill would allow the Health Department to charge a reasonable fee for the certificate.
Nothing in this bill is intended to subject physicians, other health care providers, or hospitals to any undue burden. Hospitals should designate the appropriate person on the hospital staff to inform parents of the availability of a certificate of still birth and the process for requesting a certificate of still birth. Written information provided to parents regarding a certificate of still birth could be developed by the Health Department for use by hospital staff.
Some still birth bills have raised serious problems by referring to the fetus as an unborn child. This bill does not use any such language.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law, and shall apply to instances of stillbirth regardless of whether they occurred before or after the effective date of this act.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3111--B Cal. No. 279 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. LARKIN, LANZA, ADAMS, AVELLA, CARLUCCI, DeFRANCISCO, FARLEY, GOLDEN, GRIFFO, JOHNSON, KENNEDY, LIBOUS, MAZIARZ, O'MARA, PARKER, RANZENHOFER, YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health -- reported favora- bly from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, passed by Senate and delivered to the Assembly, recalled, vote reconsidered, restored to third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading -- again amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing a certificate of still birth THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 4160 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 436 of the laws of 1967, is amended to read as follows: 3. For the purposes of this article, a fetal death shall be considered as a birth and as a death except that, for a fetal death, separate birth and death certificates shall not be required to be prepared and recorded, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-A OF THIS TITLE. S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 4160-a to read as follows: S 4160-A. CERTIFICATE OF STILL BIRTH. 1. THE DEPARTMENT, OR IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THE BOARD OF HEALTH, SHALL ESTABLISH A CERTIFICATE OF STILL BIRTH. THE REGISTRAR WITH WHOM A FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE IS FILED SHALL ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF STILL BIRTH TO THE PARENT OR PARENTS NAMED ON A FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE ISSUED IN THE CASE OF A STILLBIRTH, UPON THE REQUEST OF SUCH PARENT OR PARENTS. IF BOTH PARENTS ARE DECEASED AT THE TIME OF THE STILLBIRTH, THE REGISTRAR SHALL ISSUE THE CERTIFICATEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02740-08-1 S. 3111--B 2
TO, AND UPON THE REQUEST OF, THE SIBLING, PARENT, OR PARENTS OF THE BIRTH PARENTS. 2. A CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE SUCH APPROPRIATE INFORMATION AS SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR IF THE STILLBIRTH OCCURRED IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, BY THE BOARD OF HEALTH, AND SHALL BE ON A FORM ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT OR CITY OF NEW YORK BOARD OF HEALTH WHICH IS SIMILAR, AS APPLICABLE, TO THE FORM OF A CERTIFICATE PRESCRIBED BY SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED THIRTY OF THIS ARTI- CLE RELATING TO A LIVE BIRTH. 3. A PERSON WHO PREPARES A FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE PURSUANT TO SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED SIXTY OF THIS TITLE OR, IF THE STILLBIRTH OCCURRED IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, PURSUANT TO THE NEW YORK CITY HEALTH CODE, OR THEIR DESIGNEE, SHALL INFORM, IN WRITING, THE PARENT OR PARENTS OF A STILLBORN FETUS OF THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE A CERTIFICATE OF STILL BIRTH. PROVIDED, HOWEVER THAT IF BOTH PARENTS ARE DECEASED AT THE TIME OF SUCH STILLBIRTH, THEN THE PERSON SHALL SO INFORM THE SIBLING, PARENT OR PARENTS OF THE BIRTH PARENT OR PARENTS. 4. THE PERSON WHO PREPARES A CERTIFICATE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE THEREON THE NAME GIVEN TO THE STILLBORN FETUS BY THE PARENTS, IF THE PARENT OR PARENTS WISH TO INCLUDE SUCH NAME ON SUCH CERTIFICATE. 5. A CERTIFICATE ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE PROOF OF A LIVE BIRTH. FURTHERMORE, SUCH CERTIFICATE SHALL NOT BE USED TO CALCULATE LIVE BIRTH STATISTICS. 6. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER, THE PARENT OR PARENTS MAY ELECT TO HAVE THE DISCLOSURE OF AND ACCESS TO THE INFORMA- TION INCLUDED ON SUCH CERTIFICATE LIMITED TO THE PARENTS NAMED ON THE CERTIFICATE, THEIR LAWFUL REPRESENTATIVES, TO AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND TO THE REGISTRAR. 7. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "STILLBIRTH" SHALL MEAN THE UNINTENDED INTRAUTERINE DEATH OF A FETUS THAT OCCURS AFTER THE CLIN- ICAL ESTIMATE OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK OF GESTATION. 8. A CERTIFICATE OF STILL BIRTH MAY BE REQUESTED AND ISSUED REGARDLESS OF THE DATE ON WHICH THE FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE WAS ISSUED. 9. THE REGISTRAR MAY CHARGE A FEE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE UNDER THIS SECTION EQUAL TO THE FEE AUTHORIZED BY LAW FOR THE CERTIF- ICATION OF A BIRTH OR DEATH. 10. THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK, NOTWITHSTANDING SECTION FORTY-ONE HUNDRED FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, IN RELATION TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THE TERM "REGISTRAR" SHALL MEAN THE OFFICIAL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK WITH WHOM FETAL DEATH CERTIF- ICATES ARE FILED. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law, and shall apply to instances of stillbirth regardless of whether they occurred before or after the effective date of this act.