Bill Text: NJ S2672 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Bans administering electroconvulsive therapy to minors and senior citizens.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-06-11 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee [S2672 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S2672-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 2672

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 11, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  GERALD CARDINALE

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Bans administering electroconvulsive therapy to minors and senior citizens.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning electroconvulsive therapy and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that:

     a.     Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is more colloquially known as "electroshock therapy," is a procedure under which electrical currents are passed through the brain, triggering a brief seizure in the patient.

     b.    ECT is generally considered as a treatment of last resort for certain conditions when they prove resistant to conventional medical therapies, including severe mania or depression, catatonia, and symptoms of agitation or aggression associated with dementia. 

     c.     Although ECT can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of certain conditions, the beneficial effects are temporary, and people with depression who are treated using ECT have a relapse rate that is estimated to be as high as 80 percent.

     d.    Although the use of general anesthesia, muscle relaxants, and neural monitoring have rendered the procedure generally safer over the years, the administration of ECT nevertheless results in confusion, disorientation, and retrograde amnesia.  Other side effects can include nausea, headaches, jaw pain, muscle aches, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and brain damage; in extreme cases, the use of ECT can result in the patient's death.

     e.     The federal Food and Drug Administration has never required ECT device manufacturers to produce clinical trials demonstrating the safety and efficacy of ECT devices.

     f.     Medical researchers have raised significant concerns about the potential adverse effects of ECT when administered to children and adolescents, whose brains are still developing, as well as to the elderly and patients with health conditions that make them particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of ECT.  These concerns have resulted in California, Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas banning the use of ECT on children and adolescents.

     g.    In light of the uncertain safety and efficacy of ECT, particularly in children, it is fitting and appropriate to restrict its use in children, adolescents, and patients over the age of 65.

 

     2.    a.  In no case shall any health care practitioner licensed or certified pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes administer electroconvulsive therapy to any person who is younger than 18 years of age or who is 65 years of age or older.  A health care practitioner shall not administer electroconvulsive therapy to a person who is 18 years of age or older and younger than 65 years of age unless the person, or an individual authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the person, provides informed consent to the procedure that meets the requirements of subsection b. of this section.

     b.    (1)  Before providing informed consent to electroconvulsive therapy, a patient, or an individual authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient, shall be provided with an explanation of the procedure that includes:

     (a)   the nature and purpose of electroconvulsive therapy;

     (b)   the nature, degree, duration, and probability of any risks or side effects associated with electroconvulsive therapy that the patient may experience, including the possibility of memory loss, injury, or death;

     (c)   the division of opinion within the medical community as to the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy; and

     (d)   the probable degree and duration of improvement or remission expected for the patient's condition with and without the administration of electroconvulsive therapy.

     (2)   Informed consent to electroconvulsive therapy shall be made in writing by the patient or a person authorized to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient. A copy of the informed consent shall be maintained in the patient's medical record.  Informed consent provided pursuant to this subsection may be revoked, orally or in writing, at any time.

     c.     A health care practitioner who administers electroconvulsive therapy in violation of subsection a. of this section shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect 30 days after the date of enactment, except that the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall take any advance administrative action as shall be necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill prohibits the use of electroconvulsive therapy on any person who is younger than 18 years of age or who is age 65 or older.  Electroconvulsive therapy may only be performed on a person between the ages of 18 and 65 if the person, or the person's health care representative, has provided informed written consent to the procedure after being advised of the nature, risks, probable outcomes, and lack of consensus as to the efficacy of electroconvulsive therapy.  Informed consent may be revoked orally or in writing at any time.

     A health care practitioner who administers electroconvulsive therapy in violation of the provisions of the bill will be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to 18 months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

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