The first of two 2018 updates to the legal reference book Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking will cover the following new legal developments among others.
- The New York Court of Appeals’ rejection of both statutory and constitutional challenges alleging that New York laws criminalizing assisted suicide statutes do not and may not apply to medical aid in dying.
- A major amendment to the Uniform Determination of Death Act that clarifies both which medical criteria are authoritative for determining death by neurological criteria and that clinicians do not need family consent to administer brain death tests.
- A statute that requires clinicians to obtain patient or surrogate consent before writing a facility-based DNR order.
- The passage of a new POLST statute in and the material expansion of another.
- An innovative statute that requires default surrogates to gather information about an incapacitated patient’s beliefs, values, and preferences before making a health care decision.
- The passage of another statute directing the creation of an electronic registry for health care directives.
- The passage of statutes in two more states that direct the formation of quality of care and palliative care task forces and that direct health departments to promote both professional and consumer palliative care education.