SIDEBAR: NY State Law Mandates Discussion on End-of-life Care

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Earlier this year, the New York State legislature passed a law requiring physicians and nurse practitioners to talk to patients with an expected survival of less than 6 months about their options, including hospice care and aggressive vs palliative treatment, although patients can refuse to discuss end-of-life care if they choose. “The hope is that we would introduce the idea of palliative care and hospice care a little more routinely… [with] more emphasis on symptom control and on keeping a person comfortable,” said Jimmie C. Holland, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. ■

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