P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 208, approved August 18, 1997
Senate, No. 566 (First Reprint)
An Act concerning consent for treatment for persons with developmental disabilities and amending P.L.1969, c.181.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 1 of P.L.1969, c.181 (C.30:4-7.1) is amended to read as follows:
1. It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this State to make maximum provision for the health, safety and welfare of incompetent patients and residents in State and county institutions for the mentally ill and [mentally retarded] developmentally disabled, for developmentally disabled residents in community-based alternate living arrangements in the State or in private facilities both in and outside the State, and for inmates under age  18 in State and county penal and correctional institutions, by permitting the chief executive officer of such institution or the regional administrator of a Division of Developmental Disabilities community services region to consent to the utilization of appropriate medical, psychiatric, surgical and dental treatment for such patients [and], inmates and residents where prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist as provided for herein.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.1)
2. Section 2 of P.L.1969, c.181 (C.30:4-7.2) is amended to read as follows:
2. The chief executive officer of a State or county institution for the mentally ill [, mentally retarded] or developmentally disabled 1[or] ,1 of a State or county penal or correctional institution 1, of a juvenile facility or detention center1 , or the regional administrator of a Division of Developmental Disabilities community services region is hereby authorized to give consent for medical, psychiatric, surgical
or dental treatment to incompetent patients, [or] inmates 1or juveniles1 under age  18, or residents, hospitalized [or], confined [therein] or placed by the Division of Developmental Disabilities in community-based alternate living arrangements in the State or in private facilities both in and outside the State, under circumstances where it appears that
(a) Such patients [or], inmates 1, juveniles1 or residents, because of incompetency or nonage, are legally prevented from giving consent to such treatment, and
(i) there is no parent or guardian known to such officer or administrator, after reasonable inquiry, who is competent to give consent for the treatment of [mental] patients, [or of] inmates under the age of  18 or residents, or
(ii) where a parent or guardian, after reasonable notice of the proposed treatment and a request for consent, and prior to the date fixed in such notice for the rendering of said treatment, refuses or neglects to execute and submit to such officer or administrator a writing expressing either the grant or denial of such consent, and
(c) Where a licensed physician, psychiatrist, surgeon or dentist certifies that the treatment to be performed is essential and beneficial to the general health and welfare of such patient [or], inmate or resident, or will improve his opportunity for recovery or prolong or save his life.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.2)
3. Section 3 of P.L.1969, c.181 (C.30:4-7.3) is amended to read as follows:
3. In a case certified by a licensed physician, surgeon, psychiatrist or dentist to be one of grave emergency and to require immediate surgical intervention or other treatment in order to prevent the death of, or serious consequences to such patient [or], inmate or resident, the chief executive officer or regional administrator is hereby authorized to consent to such medical, psychiatric, surgical or dental treatment to such patient [or], inmate or resident as recommended and prescribed by such certification.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.3)
4. Notice of required treatment shall be given to a parent or guardian of such patient [or], inmate 1,juvenile1 or resident by certified mail to the last known address with a request for consent, and such notice shall contain sufficient information to indicate the precise nature of the illness and the proposed treatment and the date same will be performed, and shall be sent at least 10 days in advance of the date recommended for such treatment unless the case is one certified to be emergent, as provided hereinabove, in which case the parent or guardian shall be given the maximum advance notice possible under the circumstances. For the purposes of this act, such notice shall be deemed reasonable notice.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.4)
5. Section 5 of P.L.1969, c.181 (C.30:4-7.5) is amended to read as follows:
5. Under all of the foregoing circumstances, the chief executive officer or regional administrator, granting such consent in the exercise of his discretion, upon the recommendation contained in the medical, psychiatric, surgical or dental certification, shall be exempt from personal liability in the performance of such public duty.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.5)
6. Section 6 of P.L.1969, c.181 (C.30:4-7.6) is amended to read as follows:
6. Nothing herein shall be so construed as to give authority to the chief executive officer of any institution or the regional administrator of a Division of Developmental Disabilities community services region to supervise, regulate or control the remedial care or treatment of individual patients , inmates or residents who are adherents of any well recognized church or religious denomination which subscribes to the art of healing by prayer and the principles of which are opposed to medical treatment.
(cf: P.L.1969, c.181, s.6)
7. This act shall take effect immediately.
Permits regional administrator of a Division of Developmental Disabilities community services region to consent to treatment for residents under certain circumstances.