senate Bill S596

2019-2020 Legislative Session

Prohibits participation in torture and improper treatment of prisoners by health care professionals

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Senate Committee Health Committee

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2020 referred to health
Jan 09, 2019 referred to health


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S596 (ACTIVE) - Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Senate Health
Law Section:
Public Health Law
Laws Affected:
Add §25, Pub Health L; amd §§6509 & 6530, Ed L; amd §§740 & 741, Lab L
Versions Introduced in Other Legislative Sessions:
2009-2010: A6665
2011-2012: S6795, A5891
2013-2014: S2397, A4440
2015-2016: S105, A4489
2017-2018: S112, A3079
2021-2022: S794, A306

S596 (ACTIVE) - Summary

Prohibits participation in torture and improper treatment of prisoners by health care professionals; prohibits a health care professional from engaging, assisting, planning the torture or improper treatment of a prisoner; requires health care professionals to report torture and improper treatment.

S596 (ACTIVE) - Sponsor Memo

S596 (ACTIVE) - Bill Text download pdf

                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K


                       2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 9, 2019

  read  twice  and  ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee on Health

AN ACT to amend the public health law, the education law and  the  labor
  law,  in relation to prohibiting participation in torture and improper
  treatment of prisoners by health care professionals


  Section  1.  Legislative  policy and intent. This legislation is based
on, and is intended to give effect to, international treaties and stand-
ards; federal, state and local law; and professional standards  relating
to  torture, improper treatment of prisoners, and related matters. It is
guided by two basic principles: (1) health care professionals  shall  be
dedicated  to  providing  the  highest  standard  of  health  care, with
compassion and respect for human dignity and rights; and (2) torture and
improper treatment of prisoners are  wrong  and  inconsistent  with  the
practice  of the health care professions. The legislature finds that the
conduct prohibited by this act violates  the  ethical  and  legal  obli-
gations  of  licensed  health care professionals.  This legislation will
further protect the professionalism of New York  state  licensed  health
care  professionals  by  authorizing  and  obligating  them to refuse to
participate in torture and improper treatment  of  prisoners,  which  in
turn  will  protect  the  life and health of the people of the state and
those with whom New York licensed health care professionals interact.  A
health care professional who comes to the aid of a prisoner  should  not
be  presumed to be in violation when she or he is fulfilling the ethical
principle of beneficence. In contrast, a health care  professional  who,
for example, attends to a prisoner in order to allow torture or improper
treatment  to  commence  or  continue is not acting beneficently.   Such
practices are inconsistent with professional ethics  and  standards  and
are  violations  of  this legislation.   The legislature is mindful that
ordinarily there are limits on New York state's jurisdiction relating to
conduct outside the state or under federal  authority.  However,  it  is
proper  for  the state to regulate health care professional licensure in


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