Code of the District of Columbia

§ 14–313. Hospital-based violence intervention programs.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Confidential communication" means information exchanged between a victim and a HVIP member during the course of the HVIP member providing counseling, support, and assistance to a victim, including all records kept by the HVIP member and the hospital-based violence intervention program concerning the victim and services provided to the victim.

(2) "Hospital" means a facility that provides 24-hour inpatient care, including diagnostic, therapeutic, and other health-related services, for a variety of physical or mental conditions, and may, in addition, provide outpatient services, particularly emergency care, from which a hospital-based violence intervention program operates.

(3) "Hospital-based violence intervention program" means a non-governmental program that:

(A) Provides counseling, case management, and social services to victims at, or in conjunction with, a hospital to prevent retaliatory violence; and

(B) Participates in, or is a member of, a coordinating body for similar programs, such as Project CHANGE or the Health Alliance for Violence Intervention.

(4) "HVIP member" means an employee, contractor, or volunteer of a hospital-based violence intervention program.

(5) "Victim" means a person who suffered an intentionally inflicted gunshot or stabbing wound.

(b)(1) An HVIP member shall not disclose a confidential communication except:

(A) As required by statute or by a court of law;

(B) As voluntarily authorized in writing by the victim;

(C) To other individuals employed at the hospital-based violence intervention program and third-party providers when, and to the extent necessary, to facilitate the delivery of services to the victim;

(D) To the Metropolitan Police Department or other law enforcement agencies, to the extent necessary to protect the victim or another individual from a substantial risk of imminent and serious physical injury;

(E) To compile statistical or anecdotal information, without personal identifying information, for research or public information purposes; or

(F) For any confidential communications relevant to a claim or defense if the victim files a lawsuit against a hospital-based violence intervention program or HVIP members.

(2) Unless the disclosure is public, confidential communications disclosed pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not be further disclosed by the recipient except as authorized in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) The confidentiality of a confidential communication shall not be waived by the presence of, or disclosure to, a:

(A) Sign language or foreign language interpreter, who shall be subject to the limitations and exceptions set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection and the same privileges set forth in subsection (c) of this section;

(B) Third party participating in group counseling with the victim; or

(C) Third party with the consent of the victim where reasonably necessary to accomplish the purpose for which the HVIP member is consulted.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, when a victim is under 13 years of age, has been adjudicated incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of asserting or waiving the privilege established by this section, or is deceased, the victim's parent, guardian, or personal representative may assert or waive the privilege.

(2) If the parent, guardian, or personal representative of a victim described in paragraph (1) of this subsection has been charged with an intrafamily offense or has had a protection order or a neglect petition entered against the parent, guardian, or personal representative at the request of or on behalf of the victim, or otherwise has interests adverse to those of the victim with respect to the assertion or waiver of the privilege, the court shall appoint an attorney for purposes of asserting or waiving the privilege.

(d) The assertion of any privilege under this section is not admissible in evidence.