Governor signs Marleau ‘medical good faith’ bill

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Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation Tuesday requiring health organizations to provide in writing, upon request, any policies related to “life-sustaining or non-beneficial treatment” a patient is to receive, said sponsor Sen. Jim Marleau.

Public Act 57 of 2013 (Senate Bill 165) creates the Medical Good Faith Provisions Act, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The law was named after Faith Smith, a 4-year-old girl from Rochester Hills who was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic condition. Faith’s parents, Brad and Jesi, contacted Marleau about problems they were having with hospitals providing proper treatment for their daughter’s condition, which is often labeled “incompatible with life” by the medical community.

“You expect doctors to tell you every option to save a life, particularly that of a child, but it is not always the case,” said Marleau, R-Lake Orion. “Patients and their parents need to know about these policies. This law will help ensure transparency on the part of our health organizations.”

Some of the health facilities and agencies covered under the act include:
•    Ambulance operations and medical first response services;
•    Clinical laboratories;
•    Health maintenance organizations;
•    Hospitals;
•    Nursing homes; and
•    Hospices.

“I am thankful that Brad and Jesi Smith brought this issue to my attention and that we were able to address this serious problem,” Marleau said. “Faith and her parents are an inspiration to me and countless others who now have more transparency in health care and better communication between providers, parents and patients.”

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