Senate, California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Senate Resolution No. 17

Introduced by Senators Jackson, Monning, Wolk, Hertzberg, and Leno

Relative to California Health Care Decisions Day

WHEREAS, The State of California places the highest priority on the health and well-being of all its citizens; and

WHEREAS, Honoring patient preferences is a critical element in providing quality end-of-life care; and

WHEREAS, Every adult has the right to decide his or her own health care treatment, and, after discussions with loved ones about preferences, should appoint a person who he or she trusts as a health care agent or surrogate in order to make health care decisions for him or her in the event of incapacity, by executing advance health care planning documents; and

WHEREAS, It is also essential that all adults discuss their health care wishes with their health care providers, and provide their health care providers with copies of their advance health care planning documents so that their health care decisions can be honored if or when they become incapacitated; and

WHEREAS, It is important that seriously ill persons, or their designated health care agents or surrogates, work with their physicians and consider completing Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms if they want to avoid or receive any or all life-sustaining treatments, reside in a long-term care facility, or require long-term care services and might die within the next year; and

WHEREAS, The National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state, and community organizations created to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning; and

WHEREAS, The NHDD coalition has promoted National Healthcare Decisions Day and is committed to ensuring that all adults with decisionmaking capacity have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their health care decisions by aiming to increase conversations that lead to the completion of advance health care planning documents, increase awareness of the POLST program in the community, and support statewide implementation of the POLST program, Health Care Decisions Law (Chapter 658 of the Statutes of 1999), Terminal Patients’ Right to Know Act (Chapter 683 of the Statutes of 2008), and appropriate legislative changes; and

WHEREAS, The NHDD coalition has designated April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day, and hundreds of events will be taking place all over the country to commemorate this day; and

WHEREAS, This observance offers a special and important opportunity to encourage Californians to communicate their health care preferences and execute advance health care planning documents, and for seriously ill persons to learn about the POLST program; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate of the State of California recognizes April 16, 2015, as Health Care Decisions Day in California, urges all citizens to communicate their health care preferences and execute advance health care planning documents, and urges seriously ill persons to learn about the POLST program; and be it further

Resolved, That the Senate of the State of California urges public support for Health Care Decisions Day events planned in California on April 16, 2015; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

Senate Resolution No. 17 read and adopted by the Senate April 9, 2015.

Attest: _______________________________________

Secretary of the Senate                 

    97