Section 1: Ensuring health care providers do not condition providing treatment on a person having a POLST, advance directive or other instruction relating to the administration, withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining procedures or artificially administered nutrition.
Section 2. Hospitals licensed in Oregon state must allow a patient with a disability to designate at least three support persons, and to allow at least one support person to be present with the patient at all times in the emergency department and during the patient’s stay at the hospital, if necessary to facilitate the patient’s care, including but not limited to when the patient has a disability that:
affects the patient’s ability to make medical decisions or understand medical advice;
needs assistance with activities of daily living and the hospital staff are unable to provide or less effective at providing such assistance;
has communication barriers and requires the assistance of a support person to ensure effective communication with hospital staff;
has behavioral health needs that the support person can address more effectively than the hospital staff.
A hospital may impose conditions regarding support persons to ensure the safety of the patient, support person and staff such as requiring a support person to wear personal protective equipment and follow other protocols to prevent the potential spread of infection; be free of any symptoms of contagious diseases; and submit to health screenings; limit the number of support persons allowed to be present with the patient at a time; and limit the total number of support persons allowed to be present during the course of a day.
A hospital must ensure that a support person designated by a patient is present for any discussion in which the patient is asked to consider hospice care or sign a document which would allow the withholding of life-sustaining procedures, unless the patient declines that support.
SB 1606 does not affect the hospital’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations under state or federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Hospitals must inform patients upon admission of the patient’s right to support persons and must post the hospital’s policy and requirements for support persons at entry points to the hospital and on the hospital’s website. Hospitals must implement protocols to inform patients of their rights as it relates to this new legislation by August 1, 2020.
This new legislation allows the Oregon Health Authority to impose a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation of Sections 1 and 2 of this mandate.