Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–2212. Effect of subchapter.

(a) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy-killing or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act to end a human life other than to permit the natural dying process.

(b) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to conflict with or supersede, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, approved April 17, 1986 (100 Stat. 164; 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd).

(c) Emergency health care may be provided without consent to a patient who is certified incapacitated under § 21-2204, if no authorized person is reasonably available or if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, attempting to locate an authorized person would cause:

(1) A substantial risk of death;

(2) The health of the incapacitated individual to be placed in serious jeopardy;

(3) Serious impairment to the incapacitated individual’s bodily functions; or

(4) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part of the incapacitated individual.


(Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-189, § 13, 35 DCR 8653; Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 23(m), 40 DCR 6311; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-249, § 3(d), 55 DCR 9206; Feb. 27, 2016, D.C. Law 21-72, § 2(c)(6), 63 DCR 208.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-2212.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1305.06a.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-249 rewrote the section, which had read as follows: “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy-killing or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act to end a human life other than to permit the natural process of dying.”

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Section 7011 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 4 of D.C. Law 21-72.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(d) 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(d) 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(d) 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(d) 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(d) 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(d) of D.C. Law 16-194 amended this section to read as follows: Ҥ 21-2212. Effect of chapter.

“(c) Emergency health care may be provided without consent to a patient who is certified incapacitated under § 21-2204 if no authorized person is reasonably available or if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, attempting to locate an authorized person would cause:

“(1) A substantial risk of death;

“(4) Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.”

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(d) of D.C. Law 17-100 amended the section to read as follows: Ҥ 21-2212. Effect of chapter.

“(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to condone, authorize, or approve mercy-killing or to permit any affirmative or deliberate act to end a human life other than to permit the natural dying process.

“(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to conflict with or supersede, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, approved April 17, 1986 (100 Stat. 164; 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd).

“(c) Emergency health care may be provided without consent to a patient who is certified incapacitated under § 21-2204, if no authorized person is reasonably available or if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the attending physician, attempting to locate an authorized person would cause:

“(1) A substantial risk of death to the incapacitated individual;

“(2) The health of the incapacitated individual to be placed in serious jeopardy;

“(3) Serious impairment to the incapacitated individual’s bodily functions; or

“(4) Serious dysfunction of a bodily organ or part of the incapacitated individual”.

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