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Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 in Legislation Affecting Seniors, Seniors First San Diego, Sharon Lee |

FACT SHEET: NEW LAW PROVIDES FOR PROPER PATIENT NOTIFICATION OF END-OF-LIFE CARE

Click here for printable fact sheet: AB 2139 (Eggman) End-of-life care: patient notification

Background: According to the California Attorney General’s Office, many Californians facing terminal illness put off important end-of-life decisions. These decisions can include pain management choices, funeral arrangements, and estate/financial planning.

Old law: The patient must affirmatively ask the healthcare provider to provide comprehensive information and counseling regarding legal end-of-life options. If the patient’s health care provider does not wish to comply with the patient’s request, the health care provider must provide for the referral or transfer of patient.

Issue: People with terminal illnesses who are unprepared for end-of-life decision making may receive treatment that is not consistent with their wishes. Patients may not know what to ask for or that these care options exist. Also, persons authorized to make health care decisions for a patient with a terminal illness diagnosis, such as agents for an Advance Health Care Directive, are not specifically named in the law to receive comprehensive information and counseling regarding legal end-of-life options.

New law: This bill would require a healthcare provider, when making a diagnosis of terminal illness, to notify the patient or the patient’s agent, if applicable, of the right to comprehensive information and counseling regarding end-of-life care options.