Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1305.06b. Review panel for administration of psychotropic medications.

(a) The DDS Administrator shall establish an independent panel to review all proposals to administer psychotropic medications to persons made pursuant to § 7-1305.06a(c)(2) and in accordance with the administrative procedures established by DDS in accordance with subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.]. The administrative procedures established by DDS shall be consistent with the requirements of this section.

(b) The panel shall be comprised of 3 members. The members of the panel and their employers shall be immune from suit for any claim arising from any good faith act or omission under this section. The members of the panel shall not be affiliated with the person, the provider, or the physician seeking to administer the medication, but shall include:

(1) A board-certified psychiatrist or an advanced practice registered nurse;

(2) A licensed professional; and

(3) An person, or, if unavailable, an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability or other person advocate.

(c) The administrative procedure established by DDS for the panel shall include, at a minimum:

(1) A meeting by the panel no later than one week after DDS receives a request for consent;

(2) Written and oral notice to the person not less than 48 hours prior to when the panel will meet;

(3) The right of the person to be present when the panel meets and to have a representative present during any such meeting;

(4) The opportunity, at the meeting of the panel, for the person and his or her representative to present information and to discuss the wishes of the person;

(5) The issuance of a written decision by the panel no later than one week after the meeting of the panel, to be provided to the person, the person’s representative, and the provider; and

(6) The right of the person to request that the DDS Human Rights Advisory Committee or its successor entity review the decision of the panel.

(d) If the person requests a review by the DDS Human Rights Advisory Committee or its successor entity before the decision of the panel has been implemented, the decision shall not be implemented until after the DDS Human Rights Advisory Committee or its successor entity responds to the requested review. The DDS Human Rights Advisory Committee or its successor entity shall conduct the review at its next meeting or no later than 30 days after the request, whichever is earlier, and shall issue a response promptly.

(e) The panel shall issue a written decision which may grant, refuse, or withdraw consent to the prescription of the proposed psychotropic medication. The panel shall seek to conform as closely as possible to a standard of substituted judgment or, if the person’s wishes are unknown and remain unknown after reasonable efforts to discern them, make the decision on the basis of the person’s best interests. If the panel grants consent, the consent shall be granted for a limited period of time and shall last no longer than 9 consecutive months.

(f) For persons for whom the panel has provided consent, DDS shall offer the person the opportunity to execute a durable power of attorney in accordance with § 21-2205 and shall continue to seek to identify one or more persons listed in § 21-2210(a) who may be reasonably available, mentally capable, and willing to act.

(g) For persons for whom the panel has provided consent for 3 or more consecutive months, and for whom there is a reasonable likelihood that no decision-maker will become available and that the person will not achieve capacity during the next 6 months to make decisions regarding psychotropic medications on his or her own behalf, the District shall petition the Court for appointment of a guardian pursuant to Chapter 20 of Title 21. The District’s petition shall request the type of guardianship which is least restrictive to the incapacitated person in duration and scope, taking into account the incapacitated person’s current mental and adaptive limitations or other conditions warranting the procedure. This subsection does not preclude any other party from petitioning the Court for appointment of a guardian.

(h) Refusal to consent to psychotropic medications shall not be used as evidence of an person’s incapacity.

(i) Refusal to consent to services on the basis of a valid religious objection shall not be overridden absent a specific court order requiring the provision of services.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-137, § 506b; as added Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-249, § 5(d), 55 DCR 9206; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 7024, 57 DCR 181; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 17(jj), 59 DCR 5567; May 5, 2018, D.C. Law 22-93, § 201(c)(34), 65 DCR 2823.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1305.06a and § 7-1305.07a.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-111, in subsec. (b)(1), deleted “, subject to the availability of funds,” following “psychiatrist”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “individual” for “customer” or variants throughout the section; and substituted “an advocate for a person with an intellectual disability” for “a mental retarded advocate” in (b)(3).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 4(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) addition, see § 4(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) addition, see § 4(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) addition, see § 4(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) addition, see § 5(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).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7024 of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7024 of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 4(d) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-194, March 2, 2007, law notification 54 DCR 2492).

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 4(d) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Temporary Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Law 17-100, February 2, 2008, law notification 55 DCR 3407).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.