Advance medical directives; clarifies authority. (SB275)

Introduced By

Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Advance medical directives.  Clarifies authority of an advance directive in cases in which a person is subject to an emergency custody, temporary detention, involuntary admission, or mandatory outpatient treatment order; eliminates the requirement that a second physician or licensed clinical psychologist provide a written certification that a patient is incapable of making an informed decision in cases in which the patient is unconscious or experiencing a profound impairment of conscious function due to trauma, stroke, or other acute physiological condition; adds a provision authorizing a person who has exhibited special care and concern for a patient and is familiar with the patient's beliefs and values to make health care decisions on that patient's behalf if the patient is incapable of making an informed decision; and clarifies the procedure regarding decisions over a patient's protest. This bill also provides that a public guardian may authorize admission of an incapacitated person to a mental health facility in certain situations. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/12/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10100376D
01/12/2010Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/14/2010Assigned Education sub: Health Care
01/21/2010Reported from Education and Health (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2010Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2010Read second time and engrossed
01/26/2010Read third time and passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2010Placed on Calendar
02/03/2010Read first time
02/03/2010Referred to Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions
02/19/2010Assigned HWI sub: #3
02/23/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (5-Y 2-N)
02/25/2010Reported from Health, Welfare and Institutions with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/25/2010Committee substitute printed 10105612D-H1
02/26/2010Read second time
03/01/2010Read third time
03/01/2010Committee substitute agreed to 10105612D-H1
03/01/2010Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB275H1
03/01/2010Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
03/01/2010VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2010House substitute agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/03/2010Title replaced 10105612D-H1
03/11/2010Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB275ER)
03/11/2010Signed by Speaker
03/13/2010Signed by President
04/13/2010Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/20/2010Placed on Calendar
04/21/2010Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010House concurred in Governor's recommendation (95-Y 0-N)
04/21/2010VOTE: --- ADOPTION (95-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
04/21/2010G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/21/2010Reenrolled bill text (SB275ER2)
04/21/2010Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/21/2010Signed by President as reenrolled
04/21/2010Enacted, Chapter 792 (effective 7/1/10)
04/21/2010G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0792)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 2 clips in all, totaling 2 minutes.


Jack Ford writes:

It has only been 6 months since this bill was last amended and we have no data yet on the changes just made. Why the rush to change it again so soon? Allowing nurse specialists to do capacity evaluations instead of psychologists and M.D.'s who take many courses to learn to do this is a very dangerous proposition. Also nurse specialists and nurse practiioners in hospitals work under supervision and thus can't be considered independent of the M.D's wishes.

Allowing public guardians to "voluntarily" admit their wards to mental hospitals denies due process to their wards and didn't pass last year. Voluntary should mean voluntary.
Getting rid of second opinions in the case of physiologically impacted patients gives too much power to one person over life and death.

Clarence H Hinnant writes:

This will assist persons needing care to have access to care in situations where otherwise care is delayed unnecessarily.

Jack Ford writes:

Care is not forced treatment. Forced drugging is not care. This bill which passed the Senate unamended will allow one doctor in some cases to determine incapicity, allows unqualified nurse practioners and nurses specialists to determine capacity, this is not about access to care mostly, this is about taking away civil rights from people with disabilities and people with psychiatric labels and the general public when ill or in an accident.