Important Health Care Law to Protect Patients and Halacha Passes NYS Legislature


nys-albanyA vital amendment to New York state’s Public Health Law ensures that patients in the end stages of life will be informed of all their options, including their right to ongoing medical treatments as well as palliative care, has passed the New York State legislature.

“I am thrilled that the first law I was able to draft and pass as a member of the New York State Assembly addresses sensitive end of life issues,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D- Far Rockaway). “I thank Dr. Yashar Hirshaut and Agudath Israel for their collaboration in crafting a law that would respect religious concerns of every community and offer patients comprehensive options and opportunities for treatment.”

Agudas Yisroel of America, which worked closely with Assemblyman Goldfeder and advocated for the amendment, hailed the development as “a major breakthrough in our efforts to protect the rights of patients to receive medical treatment in accordance with halacha.”

This bill affects patients who are diagnosed with a terminal illness with a prognosis to live only up to six months. Under the earlier version of the law, health care providers were required to inform such patients of their right to palliative care, but not of the option of ongoing, aggressive medical treatment of their condition.

The amended version of the law will now require all such options be discussed with the patient. Upon being presented – as per the new law = with the options of both palliative care and aggressive treatment to sustain life for as long as possible, the patient can then consult with his rov and opt for the halachically recommended course of action.

The newly amended law will deliver the message to health practitioners that there is more than one option for patients facing terminal illness, and will ensure that patients are given a choice of medical care that respects their culture and religious and personal beliefs.

The amendment will now be presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his approval and enactment into law.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Amazing! The fact that the Agudah is able to pass a law to protect our rights is fabulous. We most show our strong support to this organization which protects our rights, and allows us to live according to Halacha. Congratulations to Mr. Goldfeder on passing your first piece of legislation!