Advisory Group Split on Futile-Care Debate

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A group charged with proposing changes to the state's futile-care law is at an impasse.

The group's chairman says it can't agree over the amount of time a family should have to transfer a patient if the hospital decides to end life-sustaining treatment.

The group is made up of doctors, hospitals, right-to-life groups and disability activists. It was formed a year ago by the state House Committee on Public Health to investigate reforming the futile-care law.

Under the law, a hospital can discontinue treatment for a patient if a doctor decides treatment is medically futile and a hospital committee backs the decision. The patient's family then has ten days to find a different facility that will take the patient.

Group chairman Greg Hooser, a lobbyist, says in a new report that he hopes group members will find a compromise to extend the transfer window.