Introduced by Representatives Pugh of S. Burlington and Koch of Barre Town
Subject: Health; advance directives; surrogacy study; registry; appropriation
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a study of surrogacy for health care decisions and to appropriate funds for the department of health to establish an electronic registry for advance directives.
AN ACT RELATING TO STUDY OF SURROGACY FOR HEALTH CARE DECISIONS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. STUDY OF SURROGACY FOR HEALTH CARE DECISIONS
(a) A committee is created to study and report on establishing statutory law providing a process for choosing a surrogate for health care decisions when an individual does not have an advance directive or guardian, the powers and responsibilities of a surrogate, any limitations on a surrogate, and necessary changes to probate law to conform to the recommendations.
(b) The committee shall be broadly constituted of individuals with knowledge and interest in the area of advance directives, current practice for health care decisions when there is no advance directive or guardian, end‑of‑life issues and mental health disability issues. Members shall be appointed upon passage of this act and shall include:
(1) the deputy commissioner of mental health or designee;
(2) the commissioner of aging and independent living or designee;
(3) a representative from the office of the public guardian;
(4) two representatives from the Vermont coalition of disability rights, one of whom shall be an advocate for individuals with mental illness;
(5) a representative from the Vermont ethics network;
(6) two representatives from the Vermont medical society, one of whom shall be a physician;
(7) other members as necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section as appointed by the co-chairs of this committee;
(8) one member of the house appointed by the speaker of the house; and
(9) one member of the senate appointed by the senate committee on committees.
(c) The members of the general assembly shall serve as co-chairs of the committee.
(d) The committee may meet for no more than 12 meetings or public hearings and shall have such powers as are needed to carry out the purposes of this section.
(e) The committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of the legislative council, which shall provide professional and administrative support for the committee.
(f) Committee members who are not full-time state employees shall be entitled to per diem and expenses as provided in 32 V.S.A. § 1010.
(g) The committee shall report its findings and recommendations, including proposals for legislative action, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2005, whereupon it shall cease to exist.
Sec. 2. APPROPRIATION FOR ELECTRONIC REGISTRY
The sum of $50,000.00 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of health in fiscal year 2006 for the establishment of a secure, web‑based registry containing copies of advance directives that is accessible to individuals with advance directives, and as needed to health care providers, health care facilities, and residential care facilities, and the employees thereof.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street