Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–661.03. Responsibilities of the attending physician.

(a) Upon receiving a written request for a covered medication pursuant to § 7-661.02(a)(2), the attending physician shall:

(1) Determine that the patient:

(A) Has a terminal disease;

(B) Is capable;

(C) Has made the request voluntarily; and

(D) Is a resident of the District of Columbia;

(2) Inform the patient of:

(A) His or her medical diagnosis;

(B) His or her prognosis;

(C) The potential risks associated with taking a covered medication;

(D) The probable result of taking a covered medication; and

(E) The feasible alternatives to taking a covered medication, including comfort care, hospice care, and pain control;

(3) Refer the patient to a consulting physician;

(4) Refer the patient to counseling if appropriate, pursuant to § 7-661.04;

(5) Inform the patient of the availability of supportive counseling to address the range of possible psychological and emotional stress involved with the end stages of life;

(6) Recommend that the patient notify next of kin, friends, and spiritual advisor, if applicable, of his or her decision to request a covered medication;

(7) Counsel the patient about the importance of having another person present when the patient takes a covered medication and of not taking a covered medication in a public place;

(8) Inform the patient that he or she has an opportunity to rescind a request for a covered medication at any time and in any manner;

(9) Verify, immediately before writing the prescription for a covered medication, that the patient is making an informed decision; and

(10) Fulfill the medical record documentation requirements of § 7-661.06.

(b) If a consulting physician receives a referral for a patient from an attending physician pursuant to subsection (a)(3) of this section, the consulting physician shall:

(1) Examine the patient and his or her relevant medical records to confirm, in writing, the attending physician's diagnosis that the patient is suffering from a terminal disease;

(2) Verify, in writing, to the attending physician that the patient:

(A) Is capable;

(B) Is acting voluntarily; and

(C) Has made an informed decision; and

(3) Refer the patient to counseling if appropriate, pursuant to § 7-661.04.


(Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-182, § 4, 63 DCR 15697.)

Applicability

Section 7018 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 18 of D.C. Law 21-182. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 21-182 has been implemented.

A certification dated June 6, 2017, that the fiscal effect of the Death with Dignity Act of 2016, D.C. Law 21-182, has been included in an approved budget and financial plan was published in the D.C. Register on June 16, 2017 (64 DCR 5670). Therefore the creation of this section by that amendment has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-182: § 18 of D.C. Law 21-182 provided that the creation of this section by § 4 of D.C. Law 21-182 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 18 of D.C. Law 21-182, see § 7018 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 § 18 of D.C. Law 21-182, see § 7018 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).