Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–2202. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Attorney in fact” means the person who receives the power of attorney for health-care decisions pursuant to the provisions of this subchapter.

(1A) “Close friend” means any adult who has exhibited significant care and concern for the patient, and has maintained regular contact with the patient so as to be familiar with his or her activities, health, and religious and moral beliefs.

(2) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2A) “Domestic partner” means an adult person living with, but not married to, another adult person in a committed, intimate relationship. The term “domestic partner” shall include any adult who has registered as a domestic partner under the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992, effective June 11, 1992 (D.C. Law 9-114; D.C. Official Code § 32-701 et seq.), as well as any adult who has registered as a domestic partner in a substantially equivalent program administered by another jurisdiction.

(2B) “Domestic partnership” means 2 adult persons living together, but not married, in a committed, intimate relationship. The term “domestic partnership” shall include any relationship registered under § 32-701(4), as well as any relationship in another jurisdiction that includes a substantially equivalent registration requirement, including those relationships recognized under § 32-702(i).

(3) “Durable power of attorney for health care” means a legally enforceable document that:

(A) Is executed in the District in a manner consistent with this subchapter or validly executed in another jurisdiction pursuant to similar provisions of the law of that jurisdiction; and

(B) Creates a power of attorney for health-care decisions, which is effective upon, and only during incapacitation and is unaffected by the subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal as defined in this subchapter.

(4) “Health-care provider” means any person or organizational entity, including health care facilities as defined in § 44-501, licensed or otherwise authorized to provide health-care services in the District.

(5) “Incapacitated individual” means an adult individual who lacks sufficient mental capacity to appreciate the nature and implications of a health-care decision, make a choice regarding the alternatives presented or communicate that choice in an unambiguous manner.

(5A) “Member of a religious order or diocesan priest” means an unmarried adult who, by vow or other bond of commitment, voluntarily undertakes a style of living under the rule and direction of a religious order or community that has been established for religious purposes and has been recognized and approved as a religious order or community by a church.

(6) “Principal” means a person who is competent to make health-care decisions for his or her own benefit or on his or her own account.

(6A) “Qualified psychologist” means a person who is licensed pursuant to § 3-1205.01 and has:

(A) One year of formal training within a hospital setting; or

(B) Two years of supervised clinical experience in an organized health-care setting, one year of which must be post-doctoral.

(7) “Religious superior” means a bishop or a member of a religious order who, under the approved constitution, laws, statutes, bylaws, or rules of the religious order or community, exercises authority over the particular community or unit of the religious order to which the member of the religious order or community belongs.


(Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-189, § 3, 35 DCR 8653; Mar. 11, 1992, D.C. Law 9-67, § 2(a), 39 DCR 12; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 23(c), 40 DCR 6311; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 14(z), 45 DCR 745; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-264, § 57(c), 46 DCR 2118; June 21, 2003, D.C. Law 15-17,§ 2(a), 50 DCR 3387; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 22(g), 55 DCR 6758; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-249, § 3(a), 55 DCR 9206; Feb. 27, 2016, D.C. Law 21-72, § 2(c)(2), 63 DCR 208.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-2202.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-17 added pars. (1A) and (2A).

D.C. Law 17-231 added par. (2B).

D.C. Law 17-249 added par. (6A).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-72 substituted “subchapter” for “chapter” throughout the section.

Applicability

Section 7011 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 4 of D.C. Law 21-72. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 21-72 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-72: § 4 of D.C. Law 21-72 provided that the change made to this section by § 2 of D.C. Law 21-72 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been given effect.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-72, see § 7011 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 4 of D.C. Law 21-72, see § 7011 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-190, October 28, 2005, 52 DCR 10021).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-262, January 26, 2006, 53 DCR 795).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-480, September 25, 2006, 53 DCR 7940).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-566, December 19, 2006, 53 DCR 10272).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-161, October 18, 2007, 54 DCR 10932).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-245, January 23, 2008, 55 DCR 1230).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 3(a) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-492, August 4, 2008, 55 DCR 9167).

Temporary Legislation

Section 3(a) of D.C. Law 16-46 added par. (6A) to read as follows:

“(B) Two years of supervised clinical experience in an organized health care setting, one year of which must be post-doctoral.”

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 16-46 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 3(a) of D.C. Law 16-194 added a new par. (6A) to read as follows:

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 16-194 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 3(a) of D.C. Law 17-100 added par. (6A) to read as follows:

“(6A) ‘Qualified psychologist’ means a person who is licensed pursuant to § 3-1205.01 and has:

“(A) One year of formal training within a hospital setting; or

“(B) Two years of supervised clinical experience in an organized health-care setting, one year of which must be post-doctoral.”

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 17-100 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.