2005 North Carolina Code - General Statutes § 14-32.2. Patient abuse and neglect; punishments.

§ 14‑32.2.  Patient abuse and neglect; punishments.

(a)       It shall be unlawful for any person to physically abuse a patient of a health care facility or a resident of a residential care facility, when the abuse results in death or bodily injury.

(b)       Unless the conduct is prohibited by some other provision of law providing for greater punishment,

(1)       A violation of subsection (a) above is a Class C felony where intentional conduct proximately causes the death of the patient or resident;

(2)       A violation of subsection (a) above is a Class E felony where culpably negligent conduct proximately causes the death of the patient or resident;

(3)       A violation of subsection (a) above is a Class F felony where such conduct is willful or culpably negligent and proximately causes serious bodily injury to the patient or resident.

(4)       A violation of subsection (a) is a Class A1 misdemeanor where such conduct evinces a pattern of conduct and the conduct is willful or culpably negligent and proximately causes bodily injury to a patient or resident.

(c)       "Health Care Facility" shall include hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded, psychiatric facilities, rehabilitation facilities, kidney disease treatment centers, home health agencies, ambulatory surgical facilities, and any other health care related facility whether publicly or privately owned.

(c1)     "Residential Care Facility" shall include adult care homes and any other residential care related facility whether publicly or privately owned.

(d)       "Person" shall include any natural person, association, corporation, partnership, or other individual or entity.

(e)       "Culpably negligent" shall mean conduct of a willful, gross and flagrant character, evincing reckless disregard of human life.

(e1)     "Abuse" means the willful or culpably negligent infliction of physical injury or the willful or culpably negligent violation of any law designed for the health or welfare of a patient or resident.

(f)        Any defense which may arise under G.S. 90‑321(h) or G.S. 90‑322(d) pursuant to compliance with Article 23 of Chapter 90 shall be fully applicable to any prosecution initiated under this section.

(g)       Criminal process for a violation of this section may be issued only upon the request of a District Attorney.

(h)       The provisions of this section shall not supersede any other applicable statutory or common law offenses. (1987, c. 527, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 1140; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 535, s. 1; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 742, ss. 7, 8; 1999‑334, s. 3.15; 1999‑456, s. 61(b).)


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