Posted on July 14, 2019 at 4:30 AM
After years of failed attempts, Missouri has finally enacted Simon's Law.
This type of legislation first originated in Missouri years ago. But while other states have since enacted Simon's Laws, Missouri did not enact Simon's Law until this week. Apparently, the trick was to embed it within a much broader bill (H.B. 397) aimed at protecting children.
The center of the new law provides that "no health care facility, nursing home, physician, nurse, or medical staff shall institute a do-not-resuscitate order or similar physician's order, either orally or in writing, without the written or oral consent of at least one parent or legal guardian of the patient or resident under eighteen years of age."
Notably, the statute includes a broader exception than analogous statutes in other states: The consent requirement does not apply where "treatment would be medically inappropriate because, in their reasonable medical judgment, providing such treatment would be potentially harmful or cause unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to the patient or resident.
Furthermore, Simon's Law applies only to the ex ante writing of a DNR order. "Nothing in this section shall require health care providers
to continue cardiopulmonary resuscitation or manual ventilation beyond a time in which, in their reasonable medical judgment, there is no further benefit to the patient or resident or likely recovery of the patient or resident."