Louisiana Law Regarding End of Life Procedures (HB 1274)
Last updated: May 28, 2014
HB 1274 amends Louisiana law regarding life-sustaining procedures, which require any ambiguity in the law to be interpreted to preserve human life.
Louisiana law recognizes the right of a person to make a declaration instructing that person’s physician to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining procedures or designating another to make the treatment decision and make such a declaration for that person, in the event that person is diagnosed as having a terminal and irreversible condition. (See Rev. Stat. § 40:1299.58.1.)
HB 1274 requires any ambiguity in the law to be interpreted to preserve human life, “including the life of an unborn child if the qualified patient is pregnant and an obstetrician who examines the woman determines that the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child is twenty or more weeks and the pregnant woman’s life can reasonably be maintained in such a way as to permit the continuing development and live birth of the unborn child and the determination is communicated to the relevant classes of family members and persons designated by present law to make a declaration for a qualified patient who has not previously made a declaration.” (See Rev. Stat. § 40:1299.64.6 & § 40.1299.58.10.)
The House passed the bill on May 5, 2014. On May 27, the Senate amended the bill to state that the law would not interfere with the rights of children, parents, or siblings of the woman to make end of life decisions. On May 30, the House rejected the Senate amendment. On June 2, both the Senate and House adopted the Conference Committee report. On June 23, 2014, Gov. Jindal signed this bill into law.
This bill replaces HB 348.