Maine LD 478: An Act To Require That Death Certificates Be Signed Using an Electronic Signature System

LD 478 (subjects: DEATH , RECORDS )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=478&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Stephen Stanley of Medway: (D – District 143) — e-mail

0 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
2/24/2015 House Committee on Health and Human Services suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
2/24/2015 Senate On motion by Senator Brakey of Androscoggin, REFERRED to the Committee on Health and Human Services, in concurrence.
4/14/2015 Senate Pursuant to Joint Rule 310.3 Placed in Legislative Files (DEAD)

Bill Text

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An Act To Require That Death Certificates Be Signed Using an Electronic Signature System

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 22 MRSA 2841, sub- 2, as amended by PL 1989, c. 274, 3, is further amended to read:

2. Medical certificate by physician. The medical certification shall must be completed and signed using an electronic signature within 5 days after delivery by the physician in attendance at or after the delivery, except when an inquiry as to the cause of fetal death is required by law. For the purposes of this subsection, “electronic signature” has the same meaning as in Title 10, section 9402, subsection 8.

Sec. 2. 22 MRSA 2842, sub- 2 and 2-A, as amended by PL 2009, c. 601, 25, are further amended to read:

2. Medical certificate by physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. The medical certification of the cause of death must be completed and signed using an electronic signature in a timely manner, as specified by department rule, by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant authorized to practice in the State who has knowledge of the patient’s recent medical condition, in accordance with department rules and other laws detailing who can certify and in what time frame, except when the death falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner as provided in section 3025. If the patient was a resident of a nursing home licensed under section 1817 at the time of death and if the health care provider in charge of the patient’s care or another health care provider designated by the health care provider in charge had not examined the patient within 48 hours prior to death, or within 2 weeks prior to death in the case of a terminally ill patient, the health care provider in charge or another health care provider designated by the health care provider in charge shall examine the body prior to completing the certification of death process. Any health care provider who fails to complete the medical certification of the cause of death fully, in a timely manner, or who fails to examine the body of a nursing home resident prior to certifying cause of death as required by this section must be reported to the Board of Licensure in Medicine, the Board of Osteopathic Licensure or the State Board of Nursing, whichever is appropriate, by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health and Human Services.

For the purposes of this subsection, the following terms have the following meanings.

A. “Life-sustaining procedure” means any medical procedure or intervention that, when administered to a qualified patient, will serve only to prolong the dying process and does not include nutrition and hydration.
B. “Terminally ill patient” means a patient who has been diagnosed as having an incurable or irreversible condition that, without the administration of life-sustaining procedures, will, in the opinion of the attending health care provider, result in death within a short time.
C. “Health care provider” means a physician authorized to practice in this State, nurse practitioner or physician assistant.
D. “Nurse practitioner” means an advanced practice registered nurse who is a certified nurse practitioner authorized to practice without the supervision of a physician pursuant to Title 32, chapter 31.
E. “Physician assistant” means a person who has graduated from a physician assistant or surgeon assistant program accredited by the American Medical Association Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation or the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs or its successor and who has passed the certifying examination administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants or its successor.
F. “Electronic signature” has the same meaning as in Title 10, section 9402, subsection 8.

2-A. Medical certification. Notwithstanding subsection 2, with respect to a person who dies within the State naturally and for whom the physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant was the attending health care provider, the medical certification of the cause of death may be completed and signed using an electronic signature by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant authorized to practice at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at Togus or at another federal medical facility within the State or by a physician, an advanced practice registered nurse or physician assistant licensed to practice in New Hampshire, Vermont or Massachusetts who, at the request of the Chief Medical Examiner, is willing to do so. For the purposes of this subsection, “electronic signature” has the same meaning as in Title 10, section 9402, subsection 8.

Sec. 3. 22 MRSA 2842, sub- 3, as amended by PL 2013, c. 31, 1, is further amended to read:

3. Medical certificate by medical examiner or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. When a death occurs under circumstances that make it a medical examiner case as defined in section 3025, or when inquiry as to the cause of death is required by law, the medical examiner or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall complete the medical certification of the cause of death as specified by department rule and sign the death certificate using an electronic signature. A certification need not be completed before the remains are ready for release. For the purposes of this subsection, “electronic signature” has the same meaning as in Title 10, section 9402, subsection 8.

The medical examiner or the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is responsible for the identity of the deceased and the time, date, place, cause, manner and circumstances of death on the death certificate. Entries may be left “pending” if further study is needed; or, at the specific direction of the Attorney General relative to cases under investigation by the Attorney General’s office, entries must be left “withheld” until such time as the Attorney General, in the Attorney General’s sole discretion, determines that any criminal investigation and prosecution will not be harmed by public disclosure of such information. Notwithstanding section 2706, subsection 4, unless directed otherwise by the Attorney General as specified in this subsection, this information for which the medical examiner is responsible may be made available to the general public by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

SUMMARY

This bill requires death certificates to be signed using an electronic signature. “Electronic signature” has the same meaning as in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 478 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
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