§ 2713. Neglect of care-dependent person.
(a) Offense defined.--A caretaker is guilty of neglect of a care-dependent person if he:
(1) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury, serious bodily injury or death by failing to provide treatment, care, goods or services necessary to preserve the health, safety or welfare of a care-dependent person for whom he is responsible to provide care.
(2) Intentionally or knowingly uses a physical restraint or chemical restraint or medication on a care-dependent person, or isolates a care-dependent person contrary to law or regulation, such that bodily injury, serious bodily injury or death results.
(3) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly endangers the welfare of a care-dependent person for whom he is responsible by failing to provide treatment, care, goods or services necessary to preserve the health, safety or welfare of the care-dependent person.
(1) A violation of subsection (a)(1) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree if the victim suffers bodily injury.
(2) A violation of subsection (a)(1) constitutes a felony of the first degree if the victim suffers serious bodily injury or death.
(3) A violation of subsection (a)(2) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree if the victim suffers bodily injury.
(4) A violation of subsection (a)(2) constitutes a felony of the first degree if the victim suffers serious bodily injury or death.
(5) A violation of subsection (a)(3) constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, except that where there is a course of conduct of endangering the welfare of a care-dependent person, the offense constitutes a felony of the third degree.
(c) Report during investigation.--When in the course of conducting any regulatory or investigative responsibility, the Department of Aging, the Department of Health or the Department of Public Welfare has a reasonable cause to believe that a care-dependent person or care-dependent persons residing in a facility have suffered bodily injury or been unlawfully restrained in violation of subsection (a)(1) or (2), a report shall be made immediately to the local law enforcement agency or to the Office of Attorney General.
(1) The district attorneys of the several counties shall have authority to investigate and to institute criminal proceedings for any violations of this section.
(2) In addition to the authority conferred upon the Attorney General under the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate and institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this section. A person charged with a violation of this section by the Attorney General shall not have standing to challenge the authority of the Attorney General to investigate or prosecute the case, and, if any such challenge is made, the challenge shall be dismissed and no relief shall be available in the courts of this Commonwealth to the person making the challenge.
(e) Treatment in conformance with care-dependent person's right to accept or refuse services.--A caretaker or any other individual or facility may offer an affirmative defense to charges filed pursuant to this section if the caretaker, individual or facility can demonstrate through a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged violations result directly from:
(1) the caretaker's, individual's or facility's lawful compliance with a care-dependent person's living will as provided in 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 54 (relating to health care);
(2) the caretaker's, individual's or facility's lawful compliance with the care-dependent person's written, signed and witnessed instructions, executed when the care-dependent person is competent as to the treatment he wishes to receive;
(3) the caretaker's, individual's or facility's lawful compliance with the direction of the care-dependent person's:
(i) agent acting pursuant to a lawful durable power of attorney under 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56 (relating to powers of attorney), within the scope of that power; or
(ii) health care agent acting pursuant to a health care power of attorney under 20 Pa.C.S. Ch. 54 Subch. C (relating to health care agents and representatives), within the scope of that power;
(4) the caretaker's, individual's or facility's lawful compliance with a "Do Not Resuscitate" order written and signed by the care-dependent person's attending physician; or
(5) the caretaker's, individual's or facility's lawful compliance with the direction of the care-dependent person's health care representative under 20 Pa.C.S. § 5461 (relating to decisions by health care representative), provided the care-dependent person has an end-stage medical condition or is permanently unconscious as these terms are defined in 20 Pa.C.S. § 5422 (relating to definitions) as determined and documented in the person's medical record by the person's attending physician.
(e.1) Reckless conduct.--For purposes of this section, a person acts recklessly when the person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk to the care-dependent person.
(f) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
"Care-dependent person." Any adult who, due to physical or cognitive disability or impairment, requires assistance to meet his needs for food, shelter, clothing, personal care or health care.
"Caretaker." Any person who:
(1) is an owner, operator, manager or employee of any of the following licensed or unlicensed entities:
(i) A nursing home, personal care home, assisted living facility, private care residence or domiciliary care home.
(ii) A community residential facility or intermediate care facility for a person with mental disabilities.
(iii) An adult daily living center.
(iv) A home health service provider.
(v) A health care facility as defined in section 802.1 of the act of July 19, 1979 (P.L.130, No.48), known as the Health Care Facilities Act;
(2) provides care to a care-dependent person in the settings described under paragraph (1);
(3) has an obligation to care for a care-dependent person for monetary consideration in the settings described under paragraph (1);
(4) is an adult who resides with a care-dependent person and who has a legal duty to provide care or who has voluntarily assumed an obligation to provide care because of a familial relationship, contract or court order; or
(5) is an adult who does not reside with a care-dependent person but who has a legal duty to provide care or who has affirmatively assumed a responsibility for care, or who has responsibility by contract or court order.
"Legal entity." An individual, partnership, unincorporated association, corporation or governing authority.
"Person." A natural person, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association or other business entity.
"Private care residence." A private residence:
(1) in which the owner of the residence or the legal entity responsible for the operation of the residence, for monetary consideration, provides or assists with or arranges for the provision of food, room, shelter, clothing, personal care or health care in the residence, for a period exceeding 24 hours, to fewer than four care-dependent persons who are not relatives of the owner; and
(2) (i) that is not required to be licensed as a long-term care nursing facility, as defined in section 802.1 of the Health Care Facilities Act; and
(ii) that is not identified in paragraph (1) of the definition of "caretaker."
(July 6, 1995, P.L.242, No.28, eff. 60 days; June 25, 1997, P.L.284, No.26, eff. 60 days; June 18, 1998, P.L.503, No.70, eff. 60 days; Nov. 29, 2006, P.L.1484, No.169, eff. 60 days; June 28, 2018, P.L.371, No.53, eff. 60 days)
2018 Amendment. Act 53 amended subsecs. (a) and (b) and the def. of "caretaker" in subsec. (f) and added subsec. (e.1) and the defs. of "legal entity" and "private care residence" in subsec. (f).
2006 Amendment. Act 169 amended subsec. (e).
1998 Amendment. Act 70 amended subsec. (d)(2).
1997 Amendment. Act 26 amended subsec. (f).
1995 Amendment. Act 28 added section 2713.
References in Text. The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.
Cross References. Section 2713 is referred to in sections 2713.1, 4120 of this title; section 5461 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries); section 5552 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).