The Federal Government, and any State or local government or health care provider that receives Federal financial assistance under this Act (or under an amendment made by this Act) or any health plan created under this Act (or under an amendment made by this Act), may not subject an individual or institutional health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the entity does not provide any health care item or service furnished for the purpose of causing, or for the purpose of assisting in causing, the death of any individual, such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.
In this section, the term "health care entity" includes an individual physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan.
Nothing in subsection (a) shall be construed to apply to, or to affect, any limitation relating to—
(1) the withholding or withdrawing of medical treatment or medical care;
(2) the withholding or withdrawing of nutrition or hydration;
(3) abortion; or
(4) the use of an item, good, benefit, or service furnished for the purpose of alleviating pain or discomfort, even if such use may increase the risk of death, so long as such item, good, benefit, or service is not also furnished for the purpose of causing, or the purpose of assisting in causing, death, for any reason.
The Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services is designated to receive complaints of discrimination based on this section.
(Pub. L. 111–148, title I, §1553, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 259.)
This Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 111–148, Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 119, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 18001 of this title and Tables.