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House Health Committee Approves Informed Consent Legislation

May 24, 2021

Legislation clarifying how physicians and other qualified practitioners obtain informed consent before surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other specified procedures moved through the House Health Committee today.

Sponsored by Senator John Gordner (R-Columbia), Senate Bill 425 not only outlines the process for physicians to obtain critical informed consent from patients, but also ensures patients have complete access to the information they need to make informed decisions.

The legislation is supported by The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. The House Health Committee unanimously moved the proposal out of its committee. The legislation was approved 47-0 in the Senate last month.

During the Health Committee meeting today, Gordner said the bill addresses a 2017 Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that limited a physician’s ability to delegate the duty to obtain informed consent prior to specified procedures. HAP and the Pennsylvania Medical Society have advocated for legislative changes because the 2017 ruling does not reflect how health care is delivered today and ignores the importance of team-based care.

The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

For more information, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.