FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
State Rep. Dan Frankel
Democratic Policy Committee hears testimony on palliative care
PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 30 – The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from experts on palliative care and pain management during a public hearing today at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, who requested the hearing and served as co-chairman, plans on introducing legislation to expand access to pain management and palliative care for all individuals, but particularly young people.
“As the federal government grapples with health care reform, it is important for all consumers to understand the range of treatment options and their availability,” Sturla said. “I applaud Representative Frankel for choosing to hold this hearing in Philadelphia, where several experts on palliative care could provide information on the uses and importance on this kind of the treatment for the chronically ill.”
"A patient’s body must not be the battleground in a war fought between disease and medicine," added Frankel. "Palliative care recognizes the way illness can affect a whole person, as well as their family. All patients, but particularly children, should have the option to seek relief from suffering as they and their families make crucial decisions about treatment."
Those testifying at the hearing included: Kate Lawson, bereaved parent; Stacy Gerlach, parent of a child with chronic illness; Doris Bradley-Plager; co-founder of David Bradley Children’s Bereavement Program; Dr. David Casarett, chief medical officer, University of Pennsylvania Hospice and Palliative Home Care Service; Dr. Chris Feudtner, director of research of pediatric advanced care team, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Trish Benton, hospice social worker/bereavement counselor, Hospice of Lancaster.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.