BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito participated in a ceremonial signing of S.2931, An Act to ensure safe patient access to emergency care.
Named in memory of Laura Levis, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito were also joined by Laura’s husband, Pete DeMarco, members of her family, and Senator Pat Jehlen.
“I signed ‘Laura’s Law’ to safeguard against future tragedies occurring just steps away from hospital emergency departments,” said Governor Baker. “In the wake of her tragic passing, Laura’s husband, Pete, undertook an exhaustive effort to honor her legacy and protect others from similar fates. After months of collaboration and hard work with legislators, including Senator Jehlen and Representative Barber, I am proud to sign Laura’s Law and celebrate her memory in a meaningful way.”
The new law would implement minimum criteria and standards that ensure safe, timely and accessible patient access to the entrances of Massachusetts hospital emergency departments. These regulations will require that entries must be clearly marked, easily accessible and properly monitored by security when appropriate.
Additionally, the Department of Public Health will convene a working group on patient access to hospital emergency rooms or departments to report on and make recommendations to inform these policies. In 2016, Laura Levis died of an asthma attack outside of an area hospital when she was unable to locate an accessible entrance to the emergency room.
“I think she would say, I’m glad I didn’t die for no reason. I’m glad that through my death other people’s lives will one day be saved,” Pete DeMarco, Laura’s husband said.
Laura’s law passed in one session and had unanimous support in the legislature. A very rare occurrence on Beacon Hill. Hospitals will now be required to post clearly marked signs showing the quickest way to the ER.
Due to coronavirus, the law will not take effect until Baker lifts the state of emergency.
Governor Baker signed the bill into law at 1:30 Friday afternoon at the State House with her family.