SENATE BILL NO. 296
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
WHEREAS, the General Assembly of the State of Delaware finds there to be no requirement that hospice services be offered by the Department of Correction to terminally ill persons who are incarcerated in this State; and
WHEREAS, although they are terminally ill, these persons must remain incarcerated in a correctional institution in the State; and
WHEREAS, it is the intent and purpose of the General Assembly by this Act to provide a place within correctional institutions in the State for terminally ill persons to live out the remainder of their lives in relative comfort and dignity.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE
Section 1. Amend § 6536, Title 11 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new subsection as follows:
“(d) The Department shall provide on-site hospice services to any terminally ill inmate or defendant confined in facilities operated by the Department at the request of a care provider with whom the Department has a contract. Hospice services provided by the Department, or its contractor, must be provided in a manner consistent with the regulations of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and shall meet all licensure standards set forth therein, governing the provision of hospice services in the State to the fullest extent possible without compromising the security and safety considerations of the institutions wherein the hospice services are being provided. The Department of Correction (DOC) may require alternate procedures for the provision of hospice services in any DOC facility where strict adherence to DHSS regulations would compromise the security and safety considerations of that facility. DOC contractors need not apply for or obtain a license from DHSS in order to provide hospice services in any DOC facility. For the purposes of this section, ‘hospice’ and ‘hospice services’ shall be as defined by DHSS regulations.”
Section 2. It is recommended that the Departments of Correction and Health and Social Services consult with one another in order to determine what, if any, changes need to be made to either DHSS regulations or DOC regulations, or both, in order to ensure the effective provision of hospice services to terminally ill inmates in DOC facilities.
Section 3. It is further recommended that the Department of Correction allow inmate volunteers to serve as caregivers to assist patients and staff in the hospice facility, subject to the approval of the warden of the facility wherein the terminally ill inmate or defendant is confined. Caregiver responsibilities to patients can include, but are not limited to: reading to, talking with, feeding, assisting with hygiene and personal grooming, letter writing, providing spiritual and emotional support, and assisting with exercises.
Approved July 26, 2000