YOUR ACTION IS URGENTLY NEEDED! There is a set of bills in the NYS Legislature that would allow patients to die from lack of treatment even if patient or their families want treatment! Don't wait until you or your loved one is being denied desperately needed treatment: Take a stand today, before it's too late!
CONTACT YOUR SENATOR TODAY to oppose S 4796, S 4794, S 4795, and S 4791. Your Senator can be reached through the Senate switchboard at 518.455.2800 or email http://www.nysenate.gov/ Please request a WRITTEN response from them stating their position!
S 4796(Hannon)/A 6966(Gottfried), related to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders
The language of S 4796 would allow physicians to disregard the patients/family wishes in seeking to impose a DNR order. A physician could impose a DNR Further, the standard for physicians is subjective (not objective like a medical malpractice standard.) If two doctors simply claim they have made their judgment a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that claim cannot be successfully challenged by anyone, no matter how clearly inaccurate it is. In this instance, the language used is unacceptably broad and chips away at the rights of the patient and their surrogate.
S 4794(Hannon)/A 674(Rosenthal), related to starvation and dehydration of a patient
Current law protects patients who have completed a health care proxy document appointing a health care agent from being starved or dehydrated to death unless they have specifically authorized it. S 4794 would allow health care agents to decide to starve and dehydrate patients based on judgments by the health care agent even if the agent does not know the patient’s wishes. Removing this protection will lead to patients being starved and dehydrated to death, having had no opportunity to express their wishes in that circumstance.
S 4795(Hannon)/A 2775(Pretlow), related to overriding family direction for treatment
Currently, when a surrogate directs provision of life-preserving treatment, the health care provider must give it pending transfer or judicial review. This bill would allow the provider to deny treatment while the surrogate seeks judicial review. Very possibly, therefore, the patient could die before the surrogate can even get to court. Moreover, the health care provider need only make diligent efforts to notify the surrogate prior to implementing the decision to deny treatment- so the surrogate may not even know of the denial in time to challenge it. A health care provider who contends that the patient had rejected the treatment the surrogate directed may present that evidence to the court, which, if persuaded, can then override the surrogate’s direction. A surrogate may well have evidence to offer that the health care provider misinterpreted the patient’s direction, or that the patient later expressed a contrary desire for the treatment the surrogate directed.
The new language would require only that the physician seeking to deny treatment recall the patient expressing orally (in front of the physician and another witness) or in writing a decision regarding life-sustaining treatment. There is no requirement that a notation be made in the patients file at the time of the conversation.
A competent patient who in fact wishes to reject life-saving treatment can do so in a written advance directive, which under NY law has a variety of safeguards such as warning statements and a requirement of witnesses. Health care providers certainly could advise their patients of this option at the time they allegedly state they want to reject treatment. But under the law, any writing rejecting treatment, lacking witnesses or informed consent safeguards is sufficient to let a health care provider override a family health care decision to provide treatment.
S 4791(Hannon)/A 6936(Clark), related to parental notice before a minor child is denied treatment
S 4791 would add language to existing law to require only that a hospital a diligent efforts to notify a parent of an emancipated minor patient before withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Even when a difficult family situation or a child who is a minor should not be abetted in throwing away his or her young life without the opportunity, at least, for parental input.
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Divide New York State Caucus Inc.