End-of-Life Care Laws Were Supposed to Help New Yorkers. They Don’t Always Work.

October 31, 2019

(ProPublica) – The case of the wrong person being taken off life support at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx in 2018 is in many ways an aberration, a mix of bad luck, missed opportunities and unlikely coincidences. It thus only touched in a limited way on the complex, emotional and legally fraught issues surrounding end-of-life care — what patients are entitled to, what doctors are obligated to do and who is responsible for making sure everything is done appropriately. Until relatively recently, not much existed to protect the rights of the terminally ill in New York state.