Compassion & Choices Arizona
Arizona

SB 1304 - palliative care (2013)

PDF version - Background Information

REFERENCE TITLE: palliative care

State of Arizona
House of Representatives
Fifty-first Legislature
First Regular Session
2013

SB 1304

Introduced by

Senators Lopez, Bradley, Gallardo, Hobbs: Jackson Jr.

AN ACT

amending title 32, chapter 32, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 32-3216; relating to health professionals.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Title 32, chapter 32, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 32-3216, to read:

32-3216. Palliative care; terminally ill patients; definitions

A. If a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness or condition, the patient's attending health care practitioner shall offer to provide the patient with information and counseling regarding palliative care and end-of-life options that are appropriate to the patient. The information and counseling may be provided orally or in writing. This information must include at least the following:

1. The range of options appropriate to the patient.

2. The prognosis, risks and benefits of the various options.

3. The patient's legal rights to comprehensive pain and symptom management at the end of life.

4. Information regarding other appropriate treatment options if the patient wishes to initiate or continue treatment.

B. If the attending health care practitioner is unwilling to provide the information prescribed pursuant to subsection A of this section, the attending health care practitioner shall refer or transfer the patient to another physician or registered nurse practitioner who is willing to do so.

C. If two or more persons are a patient's attending health care practitioners, each one of them is responsible to provide the information required pursuant to this section unless they agree to assign that responsibility to a specific attending health care practitioner.

D. If a patient lacks capacity to reasonably understand and make informed choices relating to palliative care, the attending health care practitioner shall provide information and counseling under this section to a person with authority to make health care decisions for the patient. The attending health care practitioner may arrange for information and counseling under this section to be provided by another professionally qualified individual.

E. For the purposes of this section:

1. "Appropriate" means consistent with applicable legal, health and professional standards, the patient's clinical and other circumstances and the patient's reasonably known wishes and beliefs.

2. "Attending health care practitioner" means a person who has the primary responsibility for the care and treatment of a patient and who is either a physician who is licensed pursuant to chapter 13 or 17 of this title or a registered nurse practitioner who is licensed pursuant to chapter 15 of this title.

3. "Palliative care" means health care treatment, including interdisciplinary end-of-life care and consultation with patients and family members, to prevent or relieve a patient's pain and suffereing and to enhance the patient's quality of life. Palliative care includes hospice care.

4. "Terminal illness or condition" means an illness or condition that can reasonably be expected to cause a patient's death within six months after diagnosis, whether or not medical treatment is provided to the patient.