Statement of Support: New York State Family Health Care Decisions Act

 

 

Re: Assembly Bill A.7729 (Gottfried)

      Senate Bill S.3164 (Duane)

     

 

The Family Health Care Decisions Act

 

 

        The Family Health Care Decisions Act was recently amended to include critically important provisions protecting the rights of people, especially those with disabilities, who choose life-sustaining medical treatment or food and fluids, to have their choices respected.

 

        In the past approximately 15 years, there has been an increasing tendency on the part of some hospitals and their ethics committees to discriminate against people with disabilities by denying treatment and even food and fluids against the express wishes of patients and their families on the grounds that some health care providers deem their quality of life too poor.  The provisions now incorporated in the bill ensure that when a patient, the patient’s chosen proxy, or the patient’s surrogate choose life-sustaining treatment that is not physiologically futile but that a health care provider is unwilling to provide, she or he must be allowed to transfer to a willing provider and be given the treatment until the transfer can be effectuated.


        Adoption of The Family Health Care Decisions Act, with these protective provisions, will significantly ensure the rights of all New Yorkers to be free from involuntary denial of life-sustaining medical treatment and food and fluids. I urge the New York State Legislature to accomplish its speedy enactment into law.


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