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We've had the privilege of enacting three Next of Kin Laws in two states -- California and Illinois.  Here is a bit about each law...
California NOK Law for Hospitals
The California Next of Kin Law, authored by Senator Jackie Speier and co-authored by Assemblymember Carol Liu, went into effect on January 1, 2002.  The law (see text below), is now a part of the Chapter 329 2001 Statutes, Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 1795) to Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to care facilities Sec. 25. Surrogate Decision making.

        Senator Jackie Speier                              Asm. Carol Liu

California NOK Law/Nursing Homes
On February 15th 2002, Assemblymember Carol Liu (D-Pasadena) introduced a second Next of Kin Bill, aimed at the protection of patients in nursing homes and long-term residential care facilities.  Senator Jackie Speier, author of the original California Next of Kin Bill, is the bill's principal co-author.
On August 12th, the bill passed its final vote unanimously, which means that the bill passed every committee and floor vote unanimously in both houses.  On August 28th, Governor Davis signed the bill into law.  The law, now a part of Chapter 272 California Statutes, took effect on January 1, 2003.
Under the bill, nursing homes and residential health facilities will have to notify the families or patient's contact within twenty-four hours if the patient's condition becomes unstable or critical.  The bill answers the frustrations and pain of many California families who's loved ones passed away or faced medical crisis alone, because of a delay in family notification.  It can be found in Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 1795) to Division 2 of the California Health and Safety Code, relating to care facilities.
Governor George Ryan Signs Illinois NOK Bill Into Law

The place, the Governor's Suite at Chicago's State of Illinois Building.  The date December 13, 2001.  The event, Governor George Ryan's official photo signing of the  Next of Kin Law (see text below)!    Above, the Governor with Laura and Janet Greenwald (l to r), the family, motivating force and mother/daughter writing team behind the bills.
The law, authored by Senator John Cullerton and Representative Sara Feigenholtz appears in Illinois Public Act 92-0364,  755 ILCS 40/25 from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 851-25 and went into effect in August of 2001. 

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