Bioethics Blogs

New York May Expand Medical Facility Duty to Respect Patient’s Religious Beliefs at End of Life

N.Y. Public Health Law 2803-c requires healthcare facilities to publicly adopt and to comply with a statement of patient rights.  Senator Kemp Hannon has introduced a bill that would amend the statement of patient rights.  The capitalized words are new.

“Every patient’s civil and religious liberties, including the right to independent personal decisions and knowledge  of  available  choices, shall not be infringed and the facility shall [encourage] FACILITATE and assist  in  the  fullest  possible  exercise  of  these  rights.   EVERY PATIENT’S RELIGIOUS BELIEFS SHALL BE RESPECTED WITH REGARD TO WITHHOLDING OR  WITHDRAWING  LIFE  SUSTAINING  TREATMENTS,  OR DISCHARGE FROM A FACILITY. IF SUCH PATIENT IS INCAPACITATED, SUCH DETERMINATION SHALL  BE MADE BY THEIR AGENT OR SURROGATE AS APPLICABLE BY LAW.”

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