Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–661.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Attending physician" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-621(1); provided, that the attending physician's practice shall not be primarily or solely composed of patients requesting a covered medication.

(2) "Capable" means that, in the opinion of a court or the patient's attending physician, consulting physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, a patient has the ability to make and communicate health care decisions to health care providers.

(3) "Consulting physician" means a physician who is qualified by specialty or experience to make a professional diagnosis and prognosis regarding the patient's disease and who is willing to participate in the provision of a covered medication to a qualified patient in accordance with this chapter.

(4) "Counseling" means one or more consultations as necessary between a District licensed psychiatrist or psychologist and a patient for the purpose of determining that the patient is capable and not suffering from a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgment.

(5) "Covered medication" means a medication prescribed pursuant to this chapter for the purpose of ending a person's life in a humane and peaceful manner.

(6) "Department" means the Department of Health.

(7) "Health care facility" means a hospital or long-term care facility.

(8) "Health care provider" means a person, partnership, corporation, facility, or institution that is licensed, certified, or authorized under District law to administer health care or dispense medication in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession.

(9) "Hospital" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 44-501(a)(1).

(10) "Informed decision" means a decision by a qualified patient to request and obtain a prescription for a covered medication that is based on an appreciation of the relevant facts and is made after being fully informed by the attending physician of:

(A) His or her medical diagnosis;

(B) His or her prognosis;

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

(D) The probable results of taking the covered medication; and

(E) Feasible alternatives to taking the covered medication, including comfort care, hospice care, and pain control.

(11) "Long-term care facility" means a nursing home or community residence facility, as defined by § 44-501(a)(3) and (4), or an assisted living residence, as defined by § 44-102.01(4).

(12) "Medically confirmed" means the medical opinion of the attending physician has been confirmed by a consulting physician who has examined the patient and the patient's relevant medical records.

(13) "Patient" means a person who has attained 18 years of age, resides in the District of Columbia, and is under the care of a physician.

(14) "Physician" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 7-621(4).

(15) "Qualified patient" means a patient who:

(A) Has been determined to be capable; and

(B) Satisfies the requirements of this chapter in order to obtain a prescription for a covered medication.

(16) "Terminal disease" means an incurable and irreversible disease that has been medically confirmed and will, within reasonable medical judgment, result in death within 6 months.