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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 166.  AN ACT RELATING TO END-OF-LIFE CARE AND PAIN MANAGEMENT.

(S.281)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  STUDY AND REPORT ON PALLIATIVE CARE, END-OF-LIFE                 CARE, AND PAIN MANAGEMENT

(a)  There is created a legislative study committee on palliative care,

end-of-life care, and pain management.  The study committee shall consist of three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house, and three members of the senate, appointed by the committee on committees.  The study committee shall discuss and make recommendations on legislative and nonlegislative solutions for improving palliative care,

end-of-life care, management of chronic pain, and access to these services for children, in collaboration with:

(1)  the department of health;

(2)  the department of disabilities, aging, and independent living;

(3)  the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care;

(4)  the Hospice & Palliative Care Council of Vermont;

(5)  the Vermont health care ombudsman;

(6)  the Vermont long-term care ombudsman;

(7)  Patient Choices at End of Life – Vermont;

(8)  the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare;

(9)  the Community of Vermont Elders;

(10)  the Vermont Ethics Network;

(11)  the Vermont Health Care Association;

(12)  the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems;

(13)  the Vermont Medical Society;

(14)  the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights;

(15)  the American Cancer Society;

(16)  AARP Vermont; and

(17)  other interested stakeholders.

(b)  The study committee, at its first meeting, shall elect two legislative members as co-chairs.  The legislative council and the joint fiscal office shall provide staff support to the study committee.  Prior to the first meeting of the study committee, the legislative council staff shall collect from the department of health and the office of the attorney general existing data and background material relevant to the work of the committee.

(c)  The study committee shall consider:

(1)  recommendations for improving ongoing coordination of activities directed toward improving palliative care, end-of-life care, and pain management services throughout the state based on available data and studies from existing sources;

(2)  how best to protect the interests of persons who:

(A)  have a terminal illness;

(B)  are receiving hospice care; or

(C)  are suffering chronic pain;

(3)  how to advance the goal of improving health care services for children with painful or life-threatening medical conditions, including:

(A)  the current availability of insurance coverage for pediatric palliative care services and treatment for chronic pain; and

(B)  avenues for increasing children’s access to care;

(4)  recommendations for improving methods of informing consumers about options in this state for end-of-life care, palliative care, and management of chronic pain, and about the importance of having an advance directive; and

(5)  such other issues as the study committee determines to be necessary and appropriate.

(d)  No later than January 15, 2009, the study committee shall provide a written report on its findings and recommendations, including the appropriateness of an annual report card and future activities, to the house committees on human services and on health care and the senate committee on health and welfare. 

(e)  The study committee shall meet no more than four times and legislative members of the study committee shall be entitled to receive per diem


compensation and reimbursement of expenses as provided in section 406 of Title 2.

Approved:  May 22, 2008



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us