S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
I N S E N A T E
June 6, 2012
Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- 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 information and
counseling on appropriate treatment options
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 2997-c of the public health law, as added by chap-
ter 331 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
S 2997-c. Palliative care patient information. 1. Definitions. As used
in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings,
unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(a) "Appropriate" means consistent with applicable legal, health and
professional standards; the patient's clinical and other circumstances;
and the patient's reasonably known wishes and beliefs.
(b) "Attending health care practitioner" means a physician or nurse
practitioner who has primary responsibility for the care and treatment
of the patient. Where more than one physician or nurse practitioner
share that responsibility, each of them has responsibility under this
section, unless they agree to assign that responsibility to one of them.
(c) "Palliative care" means health care treatment, including interdis-
ciplinary end-of-life care, and consultation with patients and family
members, to prevent or relieve pain and suffering and to enhance the
patient's quality of life, including hospice care under article forty of
(d) "Terminal illness or condition" means an illness or condition
which can reasonably be expected to cause death within six months,
whether or not treatment is provided.
2. If a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness or condition, the
patient's attending health care practitioner shall offer to provide the
(A) information and counseling regarding palliative care and end-of-
life options appropriate to the patient, including but not limited to:
the range of options appropriate to the patient; the prognosis, risks
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 7596 2
and benefits of the various options; and the patient's legal rights to
comprehensive pain and symptom management at the end of life, AND
(B) INFORMATION REGARDING OTHER APPROPRIATE TREATMENT OPTIONS SHOULD
THE PATIENT WISH TO INITIATE OR CONTINUE TREATMENT. The information and
counseling may be provided orally or in writing. Where the patient lacks
capacity to reasonably understand and make informed choices relating to
palliative care, the attending health care practitioner shall provide
information and counseling under this section to a person with authority
to make health care decisions for the patient. The attending health care
practitioner may arrange for information and counseling under this
section to be provided by another professionally qualified individual.
3. Where the attending health care practitioner is not willing OR DOES
NOT FEEL QUALIFIED to provide the patient with information and coun-
seling under this section, he or she shall arrange for another physician
or nurse practitioner to do so, or shall refer or transfer the patient
to another physician or nurse practitioner willing to do so.
S 2. This act shall take effect one hundred eighty days after it shall
have become a law.