Current law requires any licensed physician, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant (licensee) who attends or treats any of certain injuries, including injuries resulting from domestic violence, to report the injury at once to the police of the city, town, or city and county or the sheriff of the county in which the licensee is located.
The bill states that a licensee is not required to report an injury that the licensee has reason to believe involves an act of domestic violence if:
- The victim of the injury is at least 18 years of age and indicates his or her preference that the injury not be reported;
- The injury is not an injury that the licensee is otherwise required to report; and
- The injury is not a serious bodily injury.
When a licensee declines to report an injury that he or she has reason to believe resulted from domestic violence pursuant to the victim's expressed preference, the licensee shall document the victim's request in the victim's medical record.
Before a licensee reports an injury that he or she has reason to believe resulted from domestic violence, the licensee shall make a good-faith effort, confidentially, to advise the victim of the licensee's intent to do so.
If a licensee has reason to believe that an injury resulted from domestic violence, then, regardless of whether the licensee reports the injury to law enforcement, the licensee shall either refer the victim to a victim's advocate or provide the victim with information concerning services available to victims of abuse. A licensee who, in good faith, refers a victim to a victim's advocate or provides a victim with information concerning services available to victims of abuse is not civilly liable for any act or omission of the victim's advocate or of any agency that provides such services to the victim.
Under current law, any licensee who, in good faith, makes such a report of an injury is immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed with respect to the making of the report. The bill states that a licensee who does not make a report under the new conditions described in the bill is also immune to such liability.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)