2903.341 Patient endangerment.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "MR/DD caretaker" means any MR/DD employee or any person who assumes the duty to provide for the care and protection of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person on a voluntary basis, by contract, through receipt of payment for care and protection, as a result of a family relationship, or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. "MR/DD caretaker" includes a person who is an employee of a care facility and a person who is an employee of an entity under contract with a provider. "MR/DD caretaker" does not include a person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility unless that person also personally provides care to persons with mental retardation or a developmental disability.

(2) "Mentally retarded person" and "developmentally disabled person" have the same meanings as in section 5123.01 of the Revised Code.

(3) "MR/DD employee" has the same meaning as in section 5123.50 of the Revised Code.

(B) No MR/DD caretaker shall create a substantial risk to the health or safety of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person. An MR/DD caretaker does not create a substantial risk to the health or safety of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person under this division when the MR/DD caretaker treats a physical or mental illness or defect of the mentally retarded person or developmentally disabled person by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body.

(C) No person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility shall condone, or knowingly permit, any conduct by an MR/DD caretaker who is employed by or under the control of the owner, operator, administrator, or agent that is in violation of division (B) of this section and that involves a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person who is under the care of the owner, operator, administrator, or agent. A person who relies upon treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious denomination, shall not be considered endangered under this division for that reason alone.

(D)

(1) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (B) or (C) of this section that the actor's conduct was committed in good faith solely because the actor was ordered to commit the conduct by a person to whom one of the following applies:

(a) The person has supervisory authority over the actor.

(b) The person has authority over the actor's conduct pursuant to a contract for the provision of services.

(2) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (C) of this section that the person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility and who is charged with the violation is following the individual service plan for the involved mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person or that the admission, discharge, and transfer rule set forth in the Administrative Code is being followed.

(3) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (C) of this section that the actor did not have readily available a means to prevent either the harm to the person with mental retardation or a developmental disability or the death of such a person and the actor took reasonable steps to summon aid.

(E)

(1) Except as provided in division (E)(2) or (E)(3) of this section, whoever violates division (B) or (C) of this section is guilty of patient endangerment, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(2) If the offender previously has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a violation of this section, patient endangerment is a felony of the fourth degree.

(3) If the violation results in serious physical harm to the person with mental retardation or a developmental disability, patient endangerment is a felony of the third degree.

Cite as R.C. § 2903.341

History. Effective Date: 01-30-2004