New Connecticut Law Expands Authority of DDS to Consent to Emergency Medical Care on Behalf of Certain Patients in Residential Facilities

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[co-author: Erin Howard]

On July 7, 2021 Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 21-135 (the “Act”). The Act, among other things, makes a revision to the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) statutes allowing DDS regional or training school directors to consent to emergency care for individuals under DDS custody in certain situations.

Existing law allows a DDS regional or training school director to consent to emergency surgery for an individual under their custody or control living in a residential facility. The Act extends this authority to allow the DDS Commissioner or training school director to consent to any medical treatment or surgery when the individual’s attending physician determines that the treatment is of an emergency nature and there is insufficient time to obtain the written consent that would otherwise be required from the individual, the parent of a minor, or the individual’s legal representative. The Act also requires that the attending physician prepare a report describing the nature of the emergency which necessitated such medical treatment or surgical procedure and file a copy of such report in the patient’s record.

The Act became effective July 7, 2021.

*Legal Intern at Robinson+Cole. Erin is not yet admitted to practice law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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