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§23-89-3  Access to palliative care. –

Published: 2015

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Health and Safety


The Rhode Island Palliative Care and Quality of Life Act

SECTION 23-89-3

   § 23-89-3  Access to palliative care.


(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following


   (1) "Appropriate" means consistent with applicable legal,

health and professional standards, the patient's clinical and other

circumstances, and the patient's reasonably known wishes and beliefs.

   (2) "Medical care" means services provided, requested, or

supervised by a physician or advanced practice nurse.

   (3) "Palliative care" means patient and family centered

medical care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and

treating suffering caused by serious illness. Palliative care throughout the

continuum of illness involves addressing physical, emotional, social, and

spiritual needs and facilitating patient autonomy, access to information, and

choice. Palliative care includes, but is not limited to, discussions of the

patient's goals for treatment; discussion of treatment options appropriate to

the patient, including, where appropriate, hospice care; and comprehensive pain

and symptom management.

   (4) "Serious illness" means any medical illness or physical

injury or condition that substantially impacts quality of life for more than a

short period of time. Serious illness includes, but is not limited to, cancer;

heart, renal or liver failure; lung disease; and Alzheimer's disease and

related dementias.

   (b) On or before January 1, 2015, all healthcare

organizations which required a license to operate shall:

   (1) Consult with the organization's physicians to educate

them on how to provide information about appropriate palliative care services

for those patients or residents with serious illnesses, who, in their

professional medical opinion, would benefit from them.

   (c) The department shall carry out this section with the

consultation of the palliative care and quality of life interdisciplinary

advisory council.

   (d) In carrying out this section, the department shall take

into account factors that may impact the development of such a system and its

ability to facilitate access to palliative care, including the size of the

healthcare organization; access and proximity to palliative care services,

including the availability of hospice and palliative care board-certified

practitioners and related workforce staff; and geographic factors.

History of Section.

(P.L. 2013, ch. 332, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 421, § 1.)