State Representatives Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) and Steve Arndt (R-Post Clinton) today announced that the Ohio House has passed House Bill 286, legislation that was vetted in the House Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, which Arndt chairs.

The bill, sponsored by LaTourette, would establish the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and the Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Information and Education Program, which would both work with the Ohio Department of Health regarding matters related to palliative care. This type of care helps to improve the quality of life for a patient by reducing symptoms and pain associated with a serious illness.

“I spent two years seeing firsthand the dramatic impact access to palliative care had on my dad and my entire family. For my dad, it was about scheduling his treatments around taking that one last family vacation or being able to make the trip to Columbus to see me sworn in,” said LaTourette. “While some may believe these things are trivial, I am certain that it not only improved his quality of life, but extended his life long enough that he was able to still be here for the birth of my son, his first grandchild. I want all Ohioans to be aware of and have access to this type of care. Going through or watching a family member take on a serious illness, whether it’s terminal or not, can be heart wrenching and devastating. However, when we are faced with these inevitable challenges, access to meaningful care can make a world of difference. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with this legislation.”

The goal of these initiatives would be to further integrate palliative care into mainstream medicine and ensure the public has access to information and education on palliative care.

“House Bill 286 will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of individuals and families dealing with serious illness. This legislation will identify appropriate care plans for individuals suffering from debilitating pain to improve their quality of life,” said Arndt. “I am grateful to Representative LaTourette for her hard work on this important piece of legislation and for bringing this to the attention of the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee.”

House Bill 286 would also require certain health care facilities to identify patients who could benefit from palliative care and facilitate access to the care.

The bill now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

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