Nurses would be given the authority to “pronounce” the death of terminally ill patients in a hospital, nursing home or hospice program if a bill that cleared the Iowa House yesterday becomes law. Representative Gregory Hoversten of Sioux City is also a doctor and he told his colleagues a story about one of his patients. The man had cancer and was under hospice care when he died, but when Hoversten got the call to go to the house, Hoversten was just going into surgery and his arrival was delayed for hours.The family was gathered at the home and were forced to wait as the body couldn’t be transferred to the funeral home until a doctor made the death pronouncement. Hoversten says it’s just more humane to let nurses declare terminally ill patients dead rather than wait for a doctor to arrive to do it.
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