§ 135.20  PATIENT ABUSE OR NEGLECT; PATIENT ENDANGERMENT; EXCEPTIONS; FALSE STATEMENTS; RETALIATION.
   (A)   Definitions. As used in this section:
      ABUSE. Means knowingly causing physical harm or recklessly causing serious physical harm to a person by physical contact with the person or by the inappropriate use of a physical or chemical restraint, medication or isolation on the person.
      CARE FACILITY. Means any of the following:
         (a)   Any “home” as defined in R.C. § 3721.10.
         (b)   Any “residential facility” as defined in R.C. § 5119.34 or 5123.19.
         (c)   Any institution or facility operated or provided by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services or by the Department of Developmental Disabilities pursuant to R.C. §§ 5119.14 and 5123.03.
         (d)   Any unit of any hospital, as defined in R.C. § 3701.01, that provided the same services as a nursing home, as defined in R.C. § 3721.01.
         (e)   Any institution, residence or facility that provides, for a period of more than 24 hours, whether for consideration or not, accommodations to one individual or two unrelated individuals who are dependent upon the services of others.
      GROSS NEGLECT. Means knowingly failing to provide a person with any treatment, care, goods or service that is necessary to maintain the health or safety of the person when the failure results in serious physical harm to the person.
      INAPPROPRIATE USE OF A PHYSICAL OR CHEMICAL RESTRAINT, MEDICATION OR ISOLATION. Means the use of physical or chemical restraint, medication or isolation as punishment, for staff convenience, excessively, as a substitute for treatment, or in quantities that preclude habilitation and treatment.
      NEGLECT. Means recklessly failing to provide a person with any treatment, care, goods or service that is necessary to maintain the health or safety of the person when the failure results in serious physical harm to the person.
(R.C. § 2903.33)
   (B)   Patient abuse or neglect; spiritual treatment; defense.
      (1)   No person who owns, operates, or administers, or who is an agent or employee of a care facility shall do any of the following:
         (a)   Commit abuse against a resident or patient of the facility.
         (b)   Commit gross neglect against a resident or patient of the facility.
         (c)   Commit neglect against a resident or patient of the facility.
      (2)   (a)   A person who relies upon treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious denomination, shall not be considered neglectful under division (B)(1)(c) of this section for that reason alone.
         (b)   It is an affirmative defense to a charge of gross neglect or neglect under this section that the actor’s conduct was committed in good faith solely because the actor was ordered to commit the conduct by a person with supervisory authority over the actor.
      (3)   (a)   Whoever violates division (B)(1)(a) is guilty of patient abuse, a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.
         (b)   Whoever violates division (B)(1)(b) is guilty of gross patient neglect, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, any violation of this section or a substantially equivalent state law or municipal ordinance, gross patient neglect is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.
         (c)   Whoever violates division (B)(1)(c) is guilty of patient neglect, a misdemeanor of the second degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, any violation of this section or a substantially equivalent state law or municipal ordinance, gross patient neglect is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.
(R.C. § 2903.34)
   (C)   Patient endangerment; spiritual treatment; defense.
      (1)   As used in division (C) of this section:
         DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED PERSON. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 5123.01.
         MENTALLY RETARDED PERSON. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 5123.01.
         MR/DD CARETAKER. Means any MR/DD employee or any person who assumes the duty to provide for the care and protection of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person on a voluntary basis, by contract, through receipt of payment for care and protection, as a result of a family relationship, or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. The term includes a person who is an employee of a care facility and a person who is an employee of an entity under contract with a provider. The term does not include a person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility unless that person also personally provides care to persons with mental retardation or a developmental disability.
         MR/DD EMPLOYEE. Has the same meaning as in R.C. § 5123.50.
      (2)   No MR/DD caretaker shall create a substantial risk to the health or safety of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person. An MR/DD caretaker does not create a substantial risk to the health or safety of a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person under this division when the MR/DD caretaker treats a physical or mental illness or defect of the mentally retarded person or developmentally disabled person by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body.
      (3)   No person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility shall condone, or knowingly permit, any conduct by an MR/DD caretaker who is employed by or under the control of the owner, operator, administrator, or agent that is in violation of division (C)(2) of this section and that involves a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person who is under the care of the owner, operator, administrator, or agent. A person who relies upon treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious denomination, shall not be considered endangered under this division for that reason alone.
      (4)   (a)   It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (C)(2) or (C)(3) of this section that the actor’s conduct was committed in good faith solely because the actor was ordered to commit the conduct by a person to whom one of the following applies:
            1.   The person has supervisory authority over the actor.
            2.   The person has authority over the actor’s conduct pursuant to a contract for the provision of services.
         (b)   It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (C)(3) of this section that the person who owns, operates, or administers a care facility or who is an agent of a care facility and who is charged with the violation is following the individual service plan for the involved mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person or that the admission, discharge, and transfer rule set forth in the Ohio Administrative Code is being followed.
         (c)   It is an affirmative defense to a charge of a violation of division (C)(3) of this section that the actor did not have readily available a means to prevent either the harm to the person with mental retardation or a developmental disability or the death of such a person and the actor took reasonable steps to summon aid.
      (5)   (a)   Except as provided in division (C)(5)(b) or (C)(5)(c) of this section, whoever violates division (C)(2) or (C)(3) of this section is guilty of patient endangerment, a misdemeanor of the first degree.
         (b)   If the offender previously has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a violation of this section or a substantially equivalent state law or municipal ordinance, patient endangerment is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.
         (c)   If the violation results in serious physical harm to the person with mental retardation or a developmental disability, patient endangerment is a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.
(R.C. § 2903.341)
   (D)   False statements.
      (1)   No person shall knowingly make a false statement, or knowingly swear or affirm the truth of a false statement previously made, alleging a violation of division (B) of this section when the statement is made with purpose to incriminate another.
      (2)   Whoever violates this division (D) is guilty of filing a false patient abuse or neglect complaint, a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(R.C. § 2903.35)
   (E)   Retaliation against person reporting patient abuse or neglect. No care facility shall discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against any person solely because such person, in good faith, filed a complaint, affidavit, or other document alleging a violation of division (B) of this section or a violation of R.C. § 2903.34.
(R.C. § 2903.36)
Statutory reference:
   License revocation for felony violations, see R.C. § 2903.37