Contact: Senator Joseph Foster

(603) 271- 3569

Contact: Senate Majority Leader BobClegg

(603) 271 - 2111

April 20, 2006

CONCORD , NH – Today, the Senate passed HB 656, legislation that revises the laws relative to living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care and establishes procedures for Do Not Resuscitate Orders.

“HB 656 honors the wishes of a patient at the end of life,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Joseph Foster (D- Nashua). “This bill has to do with personal freedoms. It ensures patients will receive treatment when needed, but it will not force them to receive unwanted medical procedures that will cause harm and not extend life.”

This legislation encourages people to think about preparing living wills and advance directives that will guide their medical care at the end of life. The bill simplifies the process for completing forms, making it easier for them to be prepared when they enter a hospital or other settings.

HB 656 does not prevent someone who has filled out the documents from changing their mind.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Clegg (R- Hudson) concluded, “Passage of this legislation demonstrates how deeply the New Hampshire Senate values personal freedom and independence. The state will respect the wishes of patients and their families at one of the most difficult time in their lives.”