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Gitenstein Institute Launches Searchable Legal Map of Nationwide Advance Care Planning Laws

Image of the "Legal Map" from the Gitenstein Institute's searchable database of nationwide advance care planning laws

Hofstra Law’s Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy has launched “Advance Care Planning in the United States: A Longitudinal Perspective,” a searchable database of advance care planning laws nationwide, from each law’s inception to the present. The database is available to the public for free on the CHAT Project website through the “Legal Map” link on the homepage.

The goal of the database is to empower patients to work effectively with clinicians to make informed decisions on their own health care, consistent with their own values, by providing essential data about health care decision-making to patients, family members, clinicians, hospital administrators and the public.

The Legal Map uses a simple point-and-click interface that allows users to find the answers to relevant questions, such as “What provisions does the state’s advance directive law include?” and “Does the state have an electronic living will or advance directive registry?” with immediate access to each law’s statutory text. An adjustable timeline slider also allows users to view the information at any point in regulatory time.

The comprehensive tool was built by teams of Hofstra Law students — Health Law and Policy Fellows — under the direction of Professor Janet Dolgin, the director of the Gitenstein Institute, and Melissa Kessler, the associate director, and the immediate supervision of Christopher Czerwonka ’13, a senior fellow at the Gitenstein Institute and a special professor of law in Hofstra Law’s online degree programs in health law and policy.

The database is current through the start of 2017 and will be updated annually. Users who have substantive questions or wish to notify the Gitenstein Institute about time-sensitive updates in the law can email Czerwonka.

About the Gitenstein Institute
The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy unites students, faculty, attorneys, caregivers, clinicians, policymakers and community partners to transform the U.S. health care system. Through alliances with key community stakeholders, the Gitenstein Institute:

• creates direct services, as well as focused policy, research and advocacy initiatives, to address the needs of underserved members in our community;
• adopts and expands partnerships that help to broaden the impact and scope of our model initiatives; and
• develops and implements interdisciplinary methods to engage students in order to pave the way for positive change in the U.S. health care system.