Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–2205. Durable power of attorney for health care.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on February 4, 2022. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on June 9, 2022. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*

(a) A competent adult may designate, in writing, an individual who shall be empowered to make health-care decisions on behalf of the competent adult, if the competent adult becomes incapable, by reason of mental disability, of making or communicating a choice regarding a particular health-care decision.

(b) A durable power of attorney for health care shall include language which clearly communicates that the principal intends the attorney in fact to have the authority to make health-care decisions on behalf of the principal and shall include language identical or substantially similar to the following:

(1) “This power of attorney shall not be affected by the subsequent incapacity of the principal.” ; or

(2) “This power of attorney becomes effective upon the incapacity of the principal.”

(c) A durable power of attorney for health care shall be dated and signed by the principal and 2 adult witnesses who, in the presence or, during the period from March 11, 2020, until November 5, 2021, the electronic presence of the principal, affirm that the principal was of sound mind and free from duress at the time of signing. The 2 adult witnesses shall not include the principal, the health-care provider of the principal or an employee of the health-care provider of the principal.

(d) Of the 2 adult witnesses referred to in subsection (c) of this section, at least 1 shall not be related to the principal by blood, marriage or adoption and shall not be entitled to any part of the estate of the principal by a current will or operation of law.

(e) Any durable power of attorney for health care executed prior to March 16, 1989, and specifically written to include health-care decision making after incompetency shall be effective, if the execution of the prior document meets the requirements of this subchapter.