BILL NO A02230
SAME AS No Same as
COSPNSR Cymbrowitz, Galef, Gunther, Paulin, Peoples-Stokes, Lavine, Markey,
Rosenthal, Colton, Abinanti, Jaffee
MLTSPNSR Dinowitz, Hooper, Lupardo, McDonald, Perry, Rivera, Robinson, Titone
Add Art 28-F SS2899-b - 2899-e, Pub Health L
Requires health care professionals to order, prescribe, administer and dispense
pain-relieving medications in accordance with professional standards and
BILL NO A02230
01/15/2015 referred to health
05/12/2015 reported referred to codes
05/21/2015 advanced to third reading cal.404
01/06/2016 referred to health
02/02/2016 reported referred to codes
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2230
SPONSOR: Gottfried (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill will protect health care professionals from criminal liability
and professional discipline for prescribing and administering pain medi-
cation, when they act within accepted professional standards.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one is the Legislative findings and intent. It establishes that
appropriate pain management is medically, morally and ethically accepta-
ble even if it indirectly hastens death. Section two of the bill
contains sections 2899-a, 2899-b and 2899-c. Section 2899-a establishes
that a health care professional shall not be subject to professional
discipline or criminal liability when practicing within their lawful
scope of practice and in accordance with reasonable standards of care,
including acceptable guidelines. Section 2899-b establishes that any
failure to comply with all state and federal law, including homicide,
promoting, assisting causing or aiding suicide will result in profes-
sional or criminal prosecution. Section 2899-c states that this new
article applies to all patients with pain, including dying patients,
patients with acute pain and patients with chronic pain.
Many patients in New York State suffer needlessly from debilitating
pain, caused by the inadequate treatment of pain. Many health care
professionals are unaware of the resources available to relieve chronic
and acute pain. Some are unwilling to use those resources because they
fear that they will be wrongly subjected to prosecution or professional
discipline. Some patients are afraid that their religion requires that
they not allow health care professionals to relieve their suffering.
The Catholic Conference, in testimony before the Assembly Health Commit-
tee in January, 2005, testified that "suffering without pain relief is
neither necessary nor a moral duty. Catholic teaching has long held that
it is acceptable to relieve pain by narcotics, even when the result is
decreased consciousness and shortening of life and the indirect hasten-
ing of death." One purpose of this bill is to assure health care practi-
tioners that when they practice pain management in keeping with this and
other reasonable standards of care, they will be safe from criminal
liability or professional discipline.
This bill was developed in consultation with leading practitioners and
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2005-2006: A.7643 - passed Assembly
2007-2008: A.6811-B - passed Assembly
2009-2010: A.2263 - passed Assembly
2011-2012: A.732 - passed Assembly
2013-2014: A5345 - advanced to 3rd reading
This act takes effect immediately; except that the provision concerning
professional misconduct for failure to adequately prescribe pain-reliev-
ing medication would take effect January 1 of the second year after it
has becomes law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 15, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. GOTTFRIED, CYMBROWITZ, GALEF, GUNTHER, PAULIN,
PEOPLES-STOKES, LAVINE, MARKEY, ROSENTHAL, COLTON, ABINANTI, JAFFEE --
Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. DINOWITZ, HOOPER, LUPARDO, McDONALD,
PERRY, RIVERA, ROBINSON, TITONE -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to pain management
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
2 thousands of New Yorkers suffer needlessly from debilitating pain every
3 year, a condition that can be remedied by the appropriate use of pain
4 medications and other pain management methods. Health care professionals
5 often hesitate to prescribe or administer these medications for fear of
6 reprisal by public health or criminal justice authorities. This legis-
7 lation follows the well-established public policy that the prescribing
8 and administration of pain medications is a legitimate medical inter-
9 vention that can improve the quality of life and avoid needless suffer-
10 ing. It is a well established medical, moral and ethical proposition
11 that it is acceptable to relieve pain by medications, even if the result
12 is or may be decreased consciousness and shortening of life and the
13 indirect hastening of death. However many health care practitioners fear
14 that the legal system may not recognize that principle. While this
15 legislation intends to encourage the appropriate prescribing of pain
16 medications, it does not intend in any way to diminish New York state's
17 strong public policy and laws against the abuse of drugs.
18 § 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 28-F to
19 read as follows:
20 ARTICLE 28-F
21 PAIN MANAGEMENT
22 Section 2899-b. Definitions.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 2230 2
1 2899-c. Limitation on professional discipline or criminal
3 2899-d. Acts subject to professional discipline or prosecution.
4 2899-e. Applicability.
5 § 2899-b. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms
6 shall have the following meanings:
7 1. "Accepted guideline" means a peer reviewed clinical practice guide-
8 line for pain management developed, as applicable, by a nationally-re-
9 cognized health care professional or specialty association, or a nation-
10 ally-recognized pain management association.
11 2. "Health care practitioner" means a health care practitioner
12 licensed or certified under title eight of the education law, who is
13 authorized to order, prescribe, administer or dispense pain-relieving
14 medications or other treatment for the relief of pain.
15 3. "Pain-relieving medication" means a prescription drug, including a
16 controlled substance classified as schedule II or other controlled
17 substance, used for pain relief.
18 4. "Professional discipline" means professional discipline under title
19 two-A of article two of this chapter or title eight of the education
21 § 2899-c. Limitation on professional discipline or criminal liability.
22 A health care practitioner shall not be subject to professional disci-
23 pline or criminal liability for ordering, prescribing, administering or
24 dispensing pain-relieving medications or other treatments for the
25 purpose of alleviating or controlling pain when practicing within the
26 health care practitioner's lawful scope of practice and in accordance
27 with the reasonable standard of care of the health care practitioner's
28 profession, including an accepted guideline.
29 § 2899-d. Acts subject to professional discipline or prosecution. 1.
30 Nothing in this article shall prohibit professional discipline or crimi-
31 nal prosecution of a health care practitioner for failure to comply with
32 applicable state or federal law, including medical record keeping; homi-
33 cide or promoting, assisting, causing or aiding suicide under the penal
34 law; or unlawful prescribing; or unlawful diversion.
35 2. Nothing in this article shall prohibit professional discipline of a
36 health care practitioner for failure to adequately prescribe, order,
37 administer or dispense pain-relieving medications or other treatments
38 for the relief of pain in accordance with the reasonable standard of
39 care of the health care practitioner's profession, including an accepted
41 § 2899-e. Applicability. This article shall apply to the treatment of
42 all patients with pain, including dying patients, patients with acute
43 pain and patients with chronic pain, regardless of the patient's prior
44 or current chemical dependency or addiction; provided that a reasonable
45 standard of care of the health care practitioner's profession, including
46 accepted guidelines, may make special provisions relating to prior or
47 current chemical dependency or addiction.
48 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that subdivision
49 2 of section 2899-d of the public health law, as added by section two of
50 this act, shall take effect on the first of January of the second year
51 after it shall have become a law.