As Assembly panel today advanced legislation Assembly Deputy Republican Leader Nancy F. Muñoz sponsors that will allow an attending advanced nurse practitioner (APN) to determine their patients’ cause of death.
“An APN is licensed to treat, order tests, make referrals to surgeons, diagnose and manage long-term illnesses. As the patient’s primary treating health professional, they are often with the patient at time of death,” said Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset. “End of life is a very emotional time for family members. It’s not only appropriate, it’s common sense to allow the attending APN to make such a call. Doing so in a timely manner will help the grief-stricken family.”
The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee cleared the bill, A-1319/S-1152, which allows an APN to determine the cause of death and execute the death certification of a patient when the nurse is the patient’s primary caregiver and the collaborating physician is not available.