I recently spoke with a Washington Post reporter about a troubling practice. Physicians convince their patients to sign letters to influence public policies the patients often don’t understand. Here is the beginning of that piece. Check it out: A proposal … Continue reading →
This supplement covers the most recent legal developments—judicial cases, legislation, and news accounts of important legal proceedings that are not officially reported—concerning end-of-life decisionmaking.
Enactment of the “Our Care, Our Choice Act,” making Hawaii the seventh U.S. jurisdiction to legalize medical aid in dying with a statute modeled on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.
An amendment to the California penal code, clarifying that individuals acting in compliance with the End of Life Options Act cannot be prosecuted for assisted suicide.
Repeal of a Connecticut statute that had long wholly nullified the advance directives of pregnant patients.
Enactment of an innovative Alabama statute, mandating the regulatory development of a portable DNR order for minors, a Pediatric Palliative and End of Life Care Order (PPEL).
Enactment of a default surrogate statute in Nebraska.
An amendment to the Vermont advance directive statute, expanding who can explain and witness advance directives that are completed in institutional settings.
An amendment to the Vermont POLST statute, permitting out-of-state clinicians to complete and sign POLST forms for Vermont patients.
An amendment to the California advance directive form that clarifies by agreeing to make an organ or tissue donation, the donor consents to any temporary medical procedure necessary solely to evaluate and/or maintain the organs and/or tissues for purposes of donation, even if the donor has chosen to withhold or withdraw treatment.
Promulgation of Texas regulations, implementing a newly effective statute that requires clinicians to obtain patient or surrogate consent before writing a facility-based DNR order.
Establishment of Palliative Care and Quality of Life task forces in three more states.
An amendment to the Illinois Juvenile Court Act, permitting temporary custodians to make life-sustaining treatment health care decisions concerning for minors.