Senate Concurrent Resolution
No. 11

Introduced by Senator Rubio
(Coauthors: Senators Portantino and Wilk)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Lackey)

February 04, 2021

Relative to the Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights.


SCR 11, as introduced, Rubio. Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights.
This measure would proclaim specified principles as the Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights to make clear the Legislature supports the best cancer care for cancer patients in the state.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Remarkable advances in cancer science are creating more effective treatments and cures for patients affected by cancer; and
WHEREAS, Unfortunately, many cancer patients do not benefit from these treatment advances, and some die needlessly as a result; and
WHEREAS, The disconnect between advances in access to good-quality health care and the continuing gaps in the quality of cancer care is reflective of an important truth: cancer care is different; and
WHEREAS, Cancer care is increasingly reliant on genetic and genomic testing to direct care for each individual patient; and
WHEREAS, There is a growing understanding that there are hundreds of different cancer types that each may require different types of therapy. The complexities of cancer care include relying on the accuracy of initial diagnosis, choice of therapy, and access to appropriate clinical trials; and
WHEREAS, There is significant variability in the ability of the community of medical oncologists to keep current with the most recent evidence due to complexities of cancer care in the precision medicine era; and
WHEREAS, For many cancer patients, the best chance of a cure is the first chance of a cure, highlighting the need for access to appropriate expertise early in the cancer journey; and
WHEREAS, There are disparities in cancer outcomes and access to leading-edge clinical trials based on race and socioeconomic status that are unfavorable to those that are most vulnerable and disadvantaged; and
WHEREAS, It is imperative that California policymakers prioritize appropriate and timely access to expert cancer care for individuals; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature proclaims the following principles as the Cancer Patients’ Bill of Rights to make clear the Legislature supports the best cancer care for cancer patients in the state:
(a) Cancer patients have a right to fully understand their diagnoses and be informed about treatment options in culturally appropriate and understandable languages.
(b) Cancer patients have a right to transparent and timely processes that ensure direct access to oncology specialists, diagnostic testing, and accurate interpretations of those tests.
(c) Cancer patients have a right to timely access to cancer subspecialists who have expertise in the treatment of their subtypes of cancers when complex decisions are needed.
(d) Cancer patients have a right to direct and prompt access to medical treatments for pain management and other services that support their overall health.
(e) Cancer patients have a right to direct access to National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers and leading academic medical centers for the management of complex cancers that require multiple experts or high-risk or emerging therapies.
(f) Cancer patients have a right to timely access to relevant clinical trials, medical research, and cutting-edge innovation, including evidence-supported precision medicine; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.