September 22nd, 2010
A proposed legislation in
will require a coroner to be called for every death in a nursing home. The legislation is being introduced by Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville in an effort to identify nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect.
Prosecutors and law enforcement officers said in a recent review of how nursing home abuse and neglect are handled that it would be helpful to their investigations if coroners were called after a death in a nursing home.
During the review, Attorney General Jack Conway proposed the new law that would require nursing home officials to report to the coroner all deaths occurring in long-term care facilities or deaths occurring shortly after a resident leaves a facility.
Bill Bisceglia, president of the
Coroners Association, said his organization would support the legislation.
“We are going to be in favor of anything that protects elder citizens,” said Bisceglia.
Among Conway’s other nursing home reform recommendations is a proposal for stricter penalties to caregivers convicted of not reporting abuse.
“If caregivers don’t timely report suspected abuse or neglect, then it becomes nearly impossible for … (investigators) to secure evidence, interview the appropriate witnesses, ensure the scene is not destroyed and hold the appropriate individuals accountable,” said Conway.
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