Claudia’s Law Stems from Missed Cancer Diagnosis for Lawmaker’s Sister-in-Law
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman John Burzichelli sponsored based on a missed cancer diagnosis by his now-deceased sister-in-law was approved Thursday by the Assembly.
The bill – known as Claudia’s Law in honor of his sister-in-her-law, who died on June 7 at the age of 54 – requires a patient to be notified if a chest x-ray shows any abnormality.
Claudia was not notified of an abnormality found during a chest x-ray, meaning she missed out on months of what could have been lifesaving cancer treatments.
“We all miss Claudia and loved her dearly,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “I don’t want any other family to go through what we all went through as we lost her recently, knowing she might have lived many more years had she been made aware of what was seen on her x-ray. Mistakes were made in her case, and I’m sure many others out there, but common sense steps like this can make sure patients receive the information they need.”
The bill (A-4227) provides that if a patient’s chest x-ray demonstrates any abnormality, the report provided to the patient is to include the following information, at a minimum:
“Your chest x-ray shows an abnormality that may be associated with a risk factor for various illnesses. This information about the result of your chest x-ray is given to you to raise your awareness. Use this information to talk to your health care provider about any risks for illness that pertain to your personal medical history. At that time, ask your health care provider if more screening tests might be useful, based on your risk. A report of your results was sent to your physician.”
“We know the miracles of modern medicine can cure and stave off many fatal diseases, but often only if the patient is notified of problems clearly and early,” Burzichelli said. “Sadly, sometimes due to miscommunication – as happened with my sister-in-law – or other unforeseen problems, this vital information can get lose in the shuffle, with tragic consequences. This is an example of a bill that can truly save lives, and I’m glad it’s taken the first step toward becoming law.”
The bill will now be referred to the Senate