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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20170&cosponId=21209
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 8, 2016 10:32 AM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Allowing Physician Assistants to Sign Death Certificates
 
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce HB 2232 (2015-16) to amend the Vital Statistics Law of 1953 to allow a physician assistant (PA) to sign a death certificate for a patient under the care of that PA.

PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, manage their own patient panels, write prescriptions and often serve as the principal healthcare professional for patients. PAs are in every medical specialty and every medical setting. PAs often serve as the primary care provider at satellite offices in many rural and underserved areas. Likewise, PAs working in long-term care, hematology, and oncology have relationships with patients and know their cases in great detail.

However, under current law PAs may treat a patient, understand the cause of death and pronounce death, but are not permitted to sign a death certificate. As you can imagine, it can be a great inconvenience to all involved, especially the family, when a physician is unavailable to sign a death certificate. This legislation will ease the difficulty that occurs, but will not impact deaths that would involve a coroner.

Similar legislation was enacted several years ago to allow a certified registered nurse practitioner (CRNP) to sign a death certificate. Please join me in sponsoring this important piece of legislation. Thank you for your consideration!

Former Cosponsors: DIAMOND, EVERETT, GIBBONS, HANNA, A. HARRIS, JAMES, KINSEY, MASSER, MENTZER, MICCARELLI, MILLARD, O'BRIEN, READSHAW, ROZZI, SONNEY, WARD, WATSON, and ZIMMERMAN



Introduced as HB424