The 2010 Legislative session is zooming along! CRHC has officially taken positions on three bills that seem to be moving through the legislative process fairly easily. That being said, there are two bills that will directly impact the scope of Advance Practice Nurses (APNs), in particular, those that work in hospice and palliative care. While CRHC has not taken an official position on either of these bills, these bills will directly impact the ability of APNs to provide healthcare in rural Colorado.
HB10-1024: Declaring Patients Terminally Ill, explicitly removes the ability of an APN to declare a patient terminally ill in order to begin end-of-life care. APNs have had the ability to declare a patient terminally ill since January 1, 2009. If HB10-1024 passes, APNs would still have the ability to enter declarations of medical treatment into a patient’s record and participate in end-of-life care, but would lose the ability to declare a patient as terminally ill.
HB10-1025: Colorado Medical Treatment Act Updates, is written in a way that would remove the ability of an APN to declare a patient as terminally ill to begin end-of-life care. This bill reenacts the Colorado Medical Treatment Decision Act, which affirms the right of each patient to accept or reject medical treatment and creates a procedure to make such decisions in advance through a written declaration. While HB10-1025 has many good provisions in it, if it passes it will accomplish the goal of HB10-1024.
Both of these bills are to be heard by the House Committee of the Whole tomorrow.
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