PolitickerNJ Wire Feed
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Richard J. Codey and Sandra Bolden Cunningham that would establish a program to better educate medical examiners in the state about sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) and improve research of this rare condition, was approved today by the Senate Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee.
“Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy is a rare condition that affects younger or middle-aged people who die without a specific, clear cause. However, we still know relatively little about why certain people are affected,” said Senator Codey (D-Essex, Morris). “Opening the door to additional research on this condition could be the key to finding its cause, and ultimately to saving lives.”
While the condition is known among the medical community, the amount of data available on SUDEP is shockingly small. The bill (S-2227) would create a uniform way of collecting information on this gravely serious issue and help to expand medical research into the condition. First, the bill would require the State Medical Examiner, in consultation with the Commission of Health and the State Board of Medical Examiners, to establish a program to educate medical examiners in the State about sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
The bill would require medical examiners to include, as part of their investigation into the cause of death, questions that would determine if the person in question had epilepsy. If a medical examiner’s findings in an autopsy are consistent with the definition of known or suspected SUDEP, the medical examiner would be required to indicate SUDEP as the cause or suspected cause of death and request from the authorized survivors of the decedent that the decedent’s relevant medical information be sent to a SUDEP registry. The medical examiner would also be required to make a request to the decedent’s family member that the brain be donated to help facilitate research.
“The more opportunities we have for research on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy the better chance we have of establishing interventions to prevent additional fatalities,” said Senator Cunningham (D-Hudson). “This program will train medical examiners to identify this condition during an autopsy and to help facilitate research, which is critical to improving our understanding of this rare but tragic disorder.”
Autopsy plays a key role in determining the diagnosis of SUDEP, yet the Institute of Medicine has found that SUDEP may be underreported for several reasons, including a lack of awareness about SUDEP among medical examiners. The cause of SUDEP is not known, and opportunities for its prevention have been hindered by the lack of a systematic effort to collect information about people who have died from SUDEP, as is done with many other disorders. Senator Codey introduced the bill after being approached by those in the medical community that study epilepsy.
The committee approved the bill by a vote of 10-0. It now heads to the full Senate for a vote.
NJ Senate Democratic Office
Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.Read More >
Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...
By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >
"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran- Star-Ledger
Press releases are submitted by PolitickerNJ users, not by staff. They do not represent the viewpoint of PolitickerNJ.com.