SB 919 allows an advanced practice registered nurse or a physician assistant to now provide required medical certification for a death certificate or a fetal death certificate in certain situations. These providers may only complete the medical certification for a death certificate or fetal death certificate if the patient had executed a written certification of a terminal illness, elected to receive hospice care, and was receiving such qualified hospice care; or the patient was receiving palliative care. The medical certification must be completed within five days of receiving the death certificate. Further, SB 919 provides clarification that an advanced practice registered nurse, in addition to a registered nurse and physician assistant, can pronounce a person dead in situations other than those listed above if provided for in the written policies of the licensed entity providing services to that person. Registered nurses, including an advanced practice registered nurses, or physician assistants who determines death in accordance with the statutory requirements are not liable for civil damages nor subject to criminal prosecution for their actions or the actions of others based on the determination of death.
Governor Abbot signed SB 919 into law on June 1, 2017 to be effective immediately.
Read the full text of this bill here.