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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 18B: Voluntary non-opiate directive form

[ Text of section added by 2016, 52, Sec. 23 effective December 1, 2016. See 2016, 52, Sec. 74.]

  Section 18B. (a) The department shall establish a voluntary non-opiate directive form. The form shall indicate to all practitioners that an individual shall not be administered or offered a prescription or medication order for an opiate. The form shall be posted on the department's searchable website. An individual may execute and file a voluntary non-opiate directive form with a practitioner registered under section 7 or other authority authorized by the secretary to accept the voluntary non-opiate directive form for filing. An individual may revoke the voluntary non-opiate directive form for any reason and may do so by written or oral means.

  (b) The department shall promulgate regulations for the implementation of the voluntary non-opiate directive form which shall include, but not be limited to:

  (i) procedures to record the voluntary non-opiate directive form in the individual's interoperable electronic health record and in the prescription drug monitoring program established in section 24A;

  (ii) a standard form for the recording and transmission of the voluntary non-opiate directive form, which shall include verification by a practitioner registered under section 7 and which shall comply with the written consent requirements of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 290dd-2(b), and 42 CFR Part 2; provided, however, that the voluntary non-opiate directive form shall also provide the basic procedures necessary to revoke the voluntary non-opiate directive form;

  (iii) requirements for an individual to appoint a duly authorized guardian or health care proxy to override a previously recorded voluntary non-opiate directive form;

  (iv) procedures to ensure that any recording, sharing or distribution of data relative to the voluntary non-opiate directive form complies with all state and federal confidentiality laws; and

  (v) appropriate exemptions for emergency medical personnel.

  (c) A written prescription that is presented at an outpatient pharmacy or a prescription that is electronically transmitted to an outpatient pharmacy shall be presumed to be valid for the purposes of this section and a pharmacist in an outpatient setting shall not be held in violation of this section for dispensing a controlled substance in contradiction to a voluntary non-opiate directive form, except upon evidence that the pharmacist acted knowingly against the voluntary non-opiate directive form.

  (d) No health care provider or employee of a health care provider acting in good faith shall be subject to criminal or civil liability or be considered to have engaged in unprofessional conduct for failing to offer or administer a prescription or medication order for an opiate under the voluntary non-opiate directive form.

  No person acting as an agent pursuant to a health care proxy shall be subject to criminal or civil liability for making a decision under clause (iii) of subsection (b) in good faith.

  (e) Any board of professional licensure may limit, condition or suspend the license of or assess fines against a licensed health care provider who recklessly or negligently fails to comply with a person's voluntary non-opiate directive form.