Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Section 9 of chapter 46 of the General Laws, as amended by chapter 161 of the acts of 1987, is hereby further amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
When a patient suffering from a terminal illness or whose death is anticipated and who is receiving the services of a hospice program, at home or in a hospice, dies, a registered professional nurse licensed by the board of registration in nursing, who is employed by said hospice program or by the Visiting Nurse Association at the time of apparent death of such person, in the absence of an attending physician or a medical examiner, may make the determination and pronouncement of the death of said patient; provided, however, that said nurse first make reasonable effort to contact said physician or medical examiner before making such determination or pronouncement; and provided, further, that such determination or pronouncement be made in writing on a form approved by the commissioner of public health and subscribed under pains and penalties of perjury; and provided, further, that said nurse inform said attending physician or medical examiner forthwith of the exact location to which the decedent has been removed.
SECTION 2. Section 45 of chapter 114 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1986 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the fifth sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:- If such permit for removal of a human body, not previously interred, from one town to another within the commonwealth cannot be obtained early enough for the purpose, the certificate of death made as above provided or the determination or pronouncement of death made by a licensed registered nurse according to section nine of chapter forty-six and in the possession of the undertaker desiring to make such removal shall constitute a permit for such removal; provided, that such body shall be returned to the town from which it was removed within thirty-six hours after such removal, unless a permit in the usual form for the removal of such body has been sooner obtained hereunder.