New Jersey was the first state to have SUDEP legislation enacted, followed shortly by Illinois. The legislation passed in NJ and IL are examples of the model SUDEP legislation.
On August 7, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed Senate Bill 2227 into law. This bill requires that the State Medical Examiner establish a program to educate medical examiners in the state about SUDEP. In addition to receiving training about SUDEP, medical examiners would be required to include in their investigations inquiries to determine whether the death was a direct result of a seizure or epilepsy. If the findings are consistent with the definition of known or suspected SUDEP, the medical examiner must indicate on the death certificate that SUDEP is the cause or suspected cause of death, the individual's relevant medical information be sent to a SUDEP registry for purposes of research, and request from the authorized survivors that a donation of the individual's bran be made for research purposes to a brain bank.
Additional legislation in New Jersey, mandates that October 23 each year is Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy Awareness Day.
On August 12, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 1226, also known as the Danny Stanton SUDEP Act, into law. The law requires medical examiners and coroners to include an inquiry about a history of epilepsy and seizures as part of a standard autopsy, and, if an instance of SUDEP is determined, to report it to a national registry.
On August 11, 2015, Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 814, also known as the William C. Lindley Jr. SUDEP Law, into law. The legislation requires the Chief Medical Examiner to establish a medical examiner training program to educate medical examiners about SUDEP and establish standard protocols governing death investigations in order to identify SUDEP as a known or suspected cause of death. The North Carolina law aligns closely with the New Jersey law.
In 2017, the North Carolina legislature passed a bill, HB 690, also known as the Shannon Leigh Adcock and Steven Anthonly Christos Memorial Act, that would estalish the second week of November as SUDEP Awareness Week in the state.
On August 21, 2017 Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law A2380, which requires that the medical certificate portion of a death certificate include a determination if the person suffered a sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy and that the death is filed with the North American SUDEP Registry (NASR). The bill was a victory for New York advocates who had been pursuing SUDEP legislation for several years.
Colorado and Virginia
In Colorado, SUDEP legislation was introduced in 2013 but unfortunately did not pass. In Virginia, SUDEP legislation was introduced in 2018 but did not pass.
Connecticut and Mississippi
During the 2019 state legislative session, SUDEP legislation was introduced in Connecticut and Mississippi.