New Laws Take Effect

Beginning Monday, doctors or other health providers are required to sign a form on which patients say whether they want medical treatment withdrawn when they're near death.

The law was approved after heated discussions in the General Assembly. Supporters say the law makes conveying a patient's end-of-life decisions easier, but opponents say the procedure is weighted toward withholding treatment.

The official directive on patient care that will have to be signed by a physician or other medical professional will be available for the public later in October.

Another law that took effect Monday repeals 2005 legislation that was designed to help chiropractor patients. The law was sullied by a plea agreement from former House Speaker Jim Black that linked the provision to cash payments he received from chiropractors.

One more new law allows victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault to change their names without disclosing the new name.