February 2014           News | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Reports | Get Involved


The Escalating Cost of Cancer Drugs and Cancer Research: Legal, Bioethical and Medical Considerations
March 6
6:00 - 9:00 PM

An interdiscplinary panel of attorneys and healthcare professionals will discuss on the legal, bioethical and medical issues triggered by the escalating costs of cancer drugs, as well as the rising cost of cancer research in general.

Palliative Care and Ethics Committees: Diverse Approaches to Conflict
March 20
6:00 - 9:00 PM

This program will focus on the expanding and dynamically changing role of ethics committees in institutions, as well as in community-based care, featuring an interdisciplinary panel of experts from law, medicine, nursing, social work, and bioethics. The historical and legal underpinnings of ethics committees will be reviewed, including new mandates under the Family Health Care Decisions Act.



Recent Developments & Updates in the Practice of Disabilities Law
May 12
6:00 - 9:00 PM

The program will focus on recent legal developments in several issues including accessibility, mental illness, and employment as they relate to people with disabilities. Presenters will include litigators who argued some of the cases that will be discussed as well as lawyers who are expert in their fields.

Missed a Program? You Can Still Benefit! CLE Programs' CDs, DVDs and other course
materials can be found on the website.


Pictured (left-right), Charles Sanford Smith, of the Drugs & the Law Committee and Betsy Lambert, of the Health Law Committee presented testimony to the New York State Assembly's Standing Committee on Health in support of legislation that would authorize and regulate the sale of medical marijuana in New York State.

State of the State Address
On January 8th the Governor delivered his annual State of the State Address, outlining his policy objectives for the coming year. His speech included a number of health-related initiatives, including launching a medical marijuana program to research the feasibility of introducing medical marijuana in New York. The program will be administered by the Department of Health under an existing statutory authority in the law, which will allow 20 hospitals in the state to administer medicinal marijuana to patients with certain conditions. The details of the program are still unknown, and it is anticipated that rules and regulations will be put out for public comment over the coming months. The City Bar applauds the Governor for recognizing the importance of medical marijuana as a treatment option and we look forward to reviewing the proposed program as more details become known. To read more about this and other initiatives from the Governor’s address, click here.

Medical Marijuana
The Committees on Drugs and the Law and Health Law presented testimony before the Assembly Standing Committee on Health expressing support for pending medical marijuana legislation which would authorize and regulate the sale of medical marijuana in New York State. The testimony noted that the proposal would establish one of the strictest regimes in the country for distributing marijuana for medical purposes and accomplishes the dual goal of providing relief to suffering patients and protecting the public interest in regulating a controlled substance. The committees urged that patients who would benefit from and are approved to use medical marijuana should be easily able to gain access to it; specifically, they should be able to receive approved amounts of a quality of medical marijuana that meets standards for growth and sale under New York law.

Electronic Health Records
The Committee on Health Law issued a comprehensive report, Gap Analysis of New York Law and Recommendations Regarding Implementation of Electronic Health Records in Health Information Exchanges. As the importance of electronic medical records and the use of intermediate entities is growing, both in New York as well as nationally, consideration must be given to how best to protect the privacy and security of those records. Given that many of New York’s privacy statutes were written at a time when the sharing of electronic medical records was not contemplated, clarification is needed with respect to the application of New York’s privacy law as to uploading and downloading electronic medical records. In order to protect the security of electronic medical records, the report recommends that a new unifying statutory regime apply specifically to health information exchanges, and that health information exchanges go through a licensing process that would maintain a certain set of standards ensuring the privacy and security of a patient‘s information.

Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies
In its report, Creating Equal Access to Quality Health Care for Transgender Patients: Transgender-Affirming Hospital Policies, the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights outlined a set of model hospital policies aimed at eliminating bias and insensitivity toward, and ensuring appropriate, welcoming interactions with, transgender patients. The model policies address the issues of confidentiality, non-discrimination, room assignments, bathroom access, and admitting/registration procedures – issues that, when mishandled, become barriers to health care for transgender patients. The report urges that hospital administrators and legal departments adopt these policies to ensure that their hospitals are offering health care that is non-discriminatory and transgender-affirming.

Committee Involvement--It's Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of leadership opportunities and career doors, some you may not even anticipate.

A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.

Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to legislation@nycbar.org, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Updates include recent City Bar reports, news and upcoming programs in a particular practice area and are issued periodically to City Bar members.