PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Trish Graber | December 17th, 2012 - 7:41pm
| More

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.

Contact Info: 

Trish Graber

NJ Senate Democratic Office

609-847-3700

The Back Room

Brindle's PolitickerNJ Op-Ed a Must-Read

We are privileged to run today an opinion piece by Jeff Brindle, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commision (ELEC). In the piece, Brindle lays out a blueprint for how to make party organizations stronger in order "to stave off the ever-growing influence of outside groups."

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 21st

'We believe in redemption': Roque heads into 2015 with full backing of the HCDO WEST NEW YORK – When local pain specialist Dr. Felix Roque delivered U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) from discomfort and restored him to the golf course, the congressman in return indulged the political fancies of...

Op-Ed

Five ideas for strengthening the state's political parties

By Jeff Brindle An August 15, 2014 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler reaffirmed the place of political parties in the State’s electoral system. By rejecting arguments that unaffiliated voters should have a right to vote in... Read More >

Contributors

(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"I think he was an army general, what was he?" - state Sen. Nick Sacco (D-32)

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Which of these candidates does Gov. Chris Christie absolutely need to win?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources