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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: October 18, 2023 12:07 PM
From: Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver
To: All Senate members
Subject: Hospice LPN Death Pronouncements
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that would extend the ability to make death pronouncements to Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in the Hospice setting. LPNs provide intimate, hands-on-care for hospice patients across the Commonwealth. They provide critical care to these patients throughout their experience in hospice, but are not able to pronounce a patient’s death. The Vital Statistics Law of 1953 currently limits the ability to pronounce death to professional nurses (RNs), medical doctors, physician assistants, and coroners.
The ability to pronounce a hospice patient’s death should not be limited in this way. Hospices across the state face workforce shortages and must allocate finite resources to best serve their patients. LPNs are more than qualified to perform this function, allowing hospices to allocate resources as deemed most appropriate for patient care. Virginia enacted similar legislation in 2022.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1080