Governor signs 'Finley's Law' to make dental sedation for kids safer

Updated: Jul. 10, 2017 at 4:09 PM HST
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Ashley Puleo with her daughter, Finley Boyle
Ashley Puleo with her daughter, Finley Boyle
(Image: Governor Ige/ Facebook)
(Image: Governor Ige/ Facebook)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. David Ige signed "Finley's Law" on Monday aimed at making it safer for kids who get sedation during dental procedures.

The law is named after a 3-year-old Finley Boyle, who died in a dental tragedy in 2014.

The law puts regulations on dentists to verify sedation training and make information public about a dentist's ability to give anesthesia to children.

Ige said the dentist in Finley's case lacked any formal training in administering anesthesia to children.

"If standards had been in place, the tragic death of 3-year-old Finley Boyle may have been prevented," Ige said.

Finley's mother, Ashley Puleo, has been vocal about her daughter's death and stood next to the governor as he signed the bill into law.

"This bill is extremely important to me and I just want to like to thank everybody who was instrumental in helping it pass and supporting it," Puleo said. "I look forward to working with everybody in the future and continue to protect our children."

Finley Boyle went to Island Dentistry for Children in Kailua on Dec. 3, 2013, to receive root canals and fillings.

She stopped breathing in the dentist's chair and had a heart attack after receiving the maximum dose of five different drugs. She later died.

The dentist, Dr. Lilly Geyer, has since been indicted for manslaughter, and the practice has been shut down.

Legislators hope the bill will save lives by better regulating dentist anesthesia practices.

“We hope that this is truly a legacy for Finley, that she did not live or die in vain, but that she has made Hawaii a better place,” said state Rep. Della Au Belatti, at the bill signing.Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.