Goodell, Giglio vote in favor of more information available on death certificates

Public health officials will have more information available about drug overdoses if legislation that has passed the Senate and Assembly is signed into law.

The state Assembly and state Senate have approved legislation (A.4915/S.1668) that would require death certificates to include additional information if a death is caused by an opioid overdose, including the specific opioid that caused the death and any other related information the state Health Commissioner may require.

Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Assemblyman Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, both voted in favor of the legislation, which passed the Assembly unanimously on June 13. It was passed unanimously by the Senate in mid-May.

“Under current law, if a person dies of an opioid overdose the death certificate must state that the opioid overdose was the cause of death,” wrote state Sen. John E. Brooks. D-Long Island in the bill’s legislative justification. “However, there is no requirement that the death certificate include the specific opioid involved. This has led to a lack of information about which types of opioids are the most deadly. By recording this information on death certificates, more data will be available to better track which opioids are causing the most deaths.”

The legislation will be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.

Additionally, both Giglio and Goodell voted in favor of legislation to require annual reporting on the substances those in state correctional facilities are most commonly addicted to and what treatments are available.

“In New York state correctional facilities, at least 80 percent of incarcerated individuals have some type of substance use disorder, but data is not available on what the types of substances incarcerated individuals abuse,” wrote Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-New York City and sponsor of A.4943. “While we work to expand access to treatment within our correctional facilities, we must have a clear understanding of the most commonly abused substances so we can make available the most appropriate treatment options.”

The annual reporting bill has been delivered to the state Senate for consideration.

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