HB 780 – End of Life Option Act

HB 780 – End of Life Option Act

Primary House Sponsors: Rep. Pricey Harrison (D – Guilford); Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford); Rep. John Faircloth (R-Guilford); Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe)

 

Summary

This bill establishes the End of Life Option Act. This Act:

  • Defines a “qualified individual” as an adult who meets all of the following qualifications: (1) is a resident of NC; (2) has the capacity to make medical decisions; (3) has the physical and mental ability to self-administer a terminal comfort care drug; (4) has been diagnosed by an attending physician as suffering from a terminal illness; (5) has undergone a hospice evaluation; (6) has expressed verbally and in writing the desire to receive a prescription for a terminal comfort care drug; (7) is acting voluntarily and without coercion or duress; has documented a request pursuant to statutory requirements on a specific form; and, (8) satisfies additional statutory requirements to obtain a terminal comfort care drug.
  • Defines a “terminal disease” as “an incurable and irreversible disease that, having previously been determined, has been medically confirmed by the attending physician and will, within reasonable medical judgment, result in death within six months.”
  • Provides an individual suffering from a terminal disease with the right to be informed of all available end-of-life options related to terminal care and to receive answers to questions about the foreseeable risks and benefits of medication without the physician withholding any requested information.
  • Establishes a process under which a qualified individual may request a prescription for a terminal comfort care drug.
  • Requires a request for a terminal comfort care drug to be made verbally and in writing and further specifies requirements for a sufficient written request.
  • Provides a statutory form to be used for a request for a terminal comfort care drug.
  • Provides a statutory form to be used by the attending witness at the time of self-administration of a prescribed terminal comfort care drug.
  • States that a qualified individual may at any time discontinue, withdraw, or rescind his or her request for a terminal comfort care drug.
  • Specifies responsibilities for the attending physician including the following requirements before prescribing a terminal comfort care drug: (1) make an initial determination that the individual requesting the drug has the capacity to make medical decisions, has a terminal disease, had undergone hospice evaluation which the attending physician has reviewed, and has voluntarily made a request on the statutorily required form; (2) confirm that the individual is making an informed decision by discussing certain specified issues with the patient; (3) confirm that the individual’s request does not arrive from coercion or undue influence through discussion with the patient; (4) provide certain specified information required by statute; (5) offers the patient an opportunity to withdraw or rescind the request; (6) inform the patient of the right to withdraw or rescind the request at any time; (7) verify, immediately prior to writing the prescription for a terminal comfort care drug, that the patient is making an informed decision and is in no way acting under undue coercion or undue influence; (8) confirm that all statutory requirements have been met before writing the prescription; (9) fulfill all statutory documentation requirements; (10) complete the Attending Physician Checklist and Compliance Form and the Supplemental Attending Physician Form and include it in the individual’s medical record; and (11) provide the individual with a copy of the Attending Witness Completion Form with instructions for how the Form should be completed and returned to the physician.
  • Specifies the manner in which the attending physician must deliver the terminal comfort care drug.
  • Specifies the responsibilities for the mental health specialist upon referral from the attending physician.
  • Establishes documentation requirements for the qualified individual’s medical record.
  • Requires certain documentation to be submitted to DHHS.
  • Provides civil and criminal liability for good-faith participation in the activities covered by the Act.
  • Specifies that participation in activities authorized by the Act is strictly voluntary.
  • Requires DHHS to collect and maintain certain specified information related to the activities covered by the Act.

 

Movement

Filed – 5/3/2021

 
 

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