Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Nope, not a post on the dysfunction of the health care system, just on the wonderful New York State politics at play. Today, accidental governor Patterson vetoed a bill that had passed both NYS Senate and Assembly that would have allowed NPs to sign DNR orders.

There were apparently some language/technical issues with the Bill. However, the most disturbing piece here is the Governors complete and total lack of understanding what NPs do (no real surprise there). He was quoted,

"Finally, I am not convinced that this is an appropriate function to be carried out by nurse practitioners. Decisions of life and death should be made by physicians, not nurse practitioners.”

Not convinced?!? Didn't you just sign a bill that eliminated collaborative agreements between physicians and nurse midwives? (That would be life). Ever hear of hospice care? (That would be death). I wonder if he understands exactly who is spending time with hospice patients in their final days of life. It is the team of professionals largely comprised of nurses, NPs, and physicians. (For a wonderful read about hospice care, see this piece written by an NP colleague.) In times when some Governors are blazing the trail to reduce barriers to NP practice (think PA Governor Ed Rendell), we are literally stuck here in NY to maintain the status quo, all the while when they are crying that there aren't enough providers to care for patients.

Of course, I am waiting for organized medicine to claim victory on this one touting how New Yorkers will somehow be "safer" because NPs won't be able to sign the DNR (I predict they will paint a ridiculous picture where NPs would sign DNRs left and right and slowly kill off New Yorkers one by one - maybe thats one way to keep health care costs down!).

Dysfunction. Election day can not come soon enough so that New Yorkers will hold elected officials accountable for their incompetence and narrow-mindedness. Oh, and hopefully we'll have a budget passed by then too (the one that was due on April 1st - April Fool's Day - go figure).


Nicolle Cannone said...

NP's make decisions on Life and Death everyday, Patterson is so uninformed...if he could only "see" what NP's do.

florida nursing schools said...

That is so sad. It seems like he didn't ask his staff to do further research or what have you. The hospital has members who needs to unite and work together harmoniously to save people. He is just creating rifts and bumps rather than straightening them out.