Palliative Care Information Now Required

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 3:03:25 PM

Effective February 9, 2011, the Palliative Care Information Act was added to Public Health Law which requires physicians and nurse practitioners to offer terminally ill patients information and counseling concerning palliative care and end-of-life options. Each practitioner working with the patient has a responsibility to provide the information unless they document agreement for one provider to take the lead. The law is intended to ensure that the patients are fully informed of the options available to them when faced with a terminal illness, so that patients (or someone with authority for health care decisions) are able to make choices in accordance with their wishes and beliefs, and to optimize their quality of life. Information should include prognosis, range of options, risks and benefits, and rights to comprehensive pain and symptom management.

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