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Committee on Bioethical Issues

The Committee on Bioethical Issues examines the ethical as well as legal implications of health related matters. Some issues addressed by the Committee include stem cell research and legislation, physician assisted suicide, and electronic health records and confidentiality. The Committee has hosted speakers from the New York Organ Donor Network and The Eye Bank, who have given presentations on organ and tissue donation. The Committee’s most recent program was on palliative care, followed by a panel discussion with attorneys, physicians and ethicists. The Committee examined proposed legislation on palliative care in May 2010. The legislation required that doctors must provide information or counseling regarding options for end-of-life and palliative care to patients with a terminal condition or illness, and a prognosis of six months or less. The legislation was signed into law by former Governor Paterson. The Committee is currently analyzing Mayor Bloomberg’s initiative to prohibit NYC food stamp recipients from purchasing sodas and other sugar sweetened beverages with food stamps.

Recent Reports

Letter to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the regulation of the sale and distribution of electronic cigarettes (July 2014) ( PDF ) 
Subject area: Electronic Cigarettes

Surrogate Decision-Making Improvement Acts (June 2014) ( PDF ) 
Subject area: Surrogate Decision Making Laws

Report on A.1124-A/S.7660 regarding the dispensing of prescription pain medication (June 2014) ( PDF ) 
Subject area: Prescription Pain Medication

For the full list of committee reports click here

Of Interest

Letter to the Editor of the New York Times on increasing the N.I.H.'s budget - May 1, 2015

Event Podcast: Palliative Care and Ethics Committees: Diverse Approaches to Conflict (MP3) - March 20, 2014