Covering Louisiana

May 21, 2014 1:56 PM by Dave Fields

Right to Treatment Bill for terminal patient care passes state legislature

A bill that provides relatives with the right to treatment for a person with a terminal condition has passed the Louisiana Legislature and is set to become law.

Advocates for the Right to Treatment Bill (HB 1254) supported the bill's provision for terminal patients and their providers to retain the decision-making power to either continue or terminate specific treatments.

Prior to the origination of the bill, supporters of its passage had expressed concern that patients previously may be denied access to cancer treatments based on the severity of their illnesses. Concerns stemmed from guidelines in other states that health coverage of treatments of some cancers could be denied on the basis of patients' abilities to fight their diseases. These advocates pushed for passage of the bill to ensure that coverage for terminal patients could not be denied simply based on their diagnoses and life expectancies.

The Louisiana Right to Treatment billprovides that a government panel or insurer cannot deny access to appropriate medical treatment prescribed by a doctor and agreed to by the patient or his/her family member. According to the bill, the best practices for the disease or condition must be followed.

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