House Bill #7697 (2018)

AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- OFFICE OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS

Provides that the state medical examiner is to conduct a multi-disciplinary team review of drug-related overdose deaths.

View latest version | View original version
View status on official RI website

Subscribe to email updates


Changes since original draft

  • 2018 – H 7697
  • 2018 – H 7697 SUBSTITUTE A
  • ========
  • LC004919
  • LC004919/SUB A/2
  • ========
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2018
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – OFFICE OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
  • Introduced By: Representatives Bennett, Newberry, McNamara, Shekarchi, and
  • Marshall
  • Date Introduced: February 28, 2018
  • Referred To: House Health, Education & Welfare
  • (Department of Health)
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 23-4-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-4 entitled "Office of State Medical Examiners" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Sections 23-4-1 and 23-4-3 of the General Laws in Chapter 23-4 entitled "Office of State Medical Examiners" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 23-4-1. Definitions.
  • (a) "Assistant medical examiner" means a duly licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy appointed to assist the office of state medical examiners on a part-time basis.
  • (b) "Autopsy" means the dissection of a dead body and the removal and examination of bone, tissue, organs, and foreign objects for the purpose of determining the condition of the body and the cause and the manner of the death.
  • (c) "Cause of death" means the agent that has directly or indirectly resulted in a death.
  • (d) "Inquest" means an official judicial inquiry before a medical examiner and/or medical examiners jury for the purpose of determining the manner of death.
  • (e) "Manner of death" means the means or fatal agency that caused a death.
  • (f) "Postmortem examination" means examination after death and includes an examination of the dead body and surroundings by an agent of the office of state medical examiners but does not include dissection of the body for any purpose.
  • (g) "Work product" means preliminary drafts, notes, impressions, memoranda, working papers, and similar documents of a governmental entity, whether in electronic or other format.
  • 23-4-3. Functions.
  • The office of state medical examiners shall be responsible for:
  • (1) The investigation of deaths within the state that, in its judgment, might reasonably be expected to involve causes of death enumerated in this chapter;
  • (2) For the conduct of inquests when requested by the attorney general;
  • (3) For the performance of autopsies, including the retention, examination, and appropriate disposal of tissue, when appropriate, for deaths that, in its judgment, might reasonably be expected to involve causes of deaths enumerated in this chapter;
  • (4) For the written determination of the causes of death investigated pursuant to this chapter;
  • (5) For the presentation to the courts of Rhode Island of expert testimony relating to the cause of death;
  • (6) For the keeping of complete records, including names, places, circumstances, and causes of deaths, of deaths investigated and reported, copies of which shall be delivered to the attorney general and of which written determinations of causes of death shall be made available for public inspection;
  • (7) For the burial of bodies for which there is no other existing legal responsibility to do so;
  • (8) For the development and enforcement of procedures for the pronouncement of death and for the transplantation of organs from bodies of persons who have died within the state;
  • (9) For a multi-disciplinary team review of child fatalities with the goal to decrease the prevalence of preventable child deaths and report recommendations for community- and systems- intervention strategies. A child death-review team shall include, but is not limited to, representation from state agencies, health care, child welfare, and law enforcement; and
  • (10) The department shall work with the department of children, youth and families and the office of the child advocate to develop a process to ensure the timely availability of autopsy reports on child deaths; and
  • (11)(i) For a multi-disciplinary team review of drug-related overdose deaths with the goal of reducing the prevalence of such deaths by examining emerging trends in overdose, identifying potential demographic, geographic, and structural points for prevention and other factors. The multi-disciplinary team for review of drug-related overdose deaths may include, as determined by the director, representatives from the department of health; the department of the attorney general; the Rhode Island state police; the department of corrections; the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals; the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association; the Hospital Association of Rhode Island; an emergency department physician; a primary care physician; an addiction medicine/treatment provider; a mental health clinician; a toxicologist; a recovery coach or other representative of the recovery community; and others as may be determined by the director; and
  • (b) The work product used to create any findings, report or conclusions of the multi- disciplinary team for review of drug-related overdose deaths shall be confidential and protected under all applicable laws, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Rhode Island confidentiality of health care information act (chapter 37.3 of title 5), and shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 2 of title 38, not subject to subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding, and not subject to disclosure beyond such team members (except to authorized employees of the department of health as necessary to perform official duties of the department pursuant to § 23-4-3(11)).
  • SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
  • (ii) The work product of the multi-disciplinary team for review of drug-related overdose deaths shall be confidential and protected under all applicable laws, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Rhode Island confidentiality of health care information act (chapter 37.3 of title 5), and shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 2 of title 38, not subject to subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding, and not subject to disclosure beyond such team members (except to authorized employees of the department of health as necessary to perform official duties of the department pursuant to § 23-4-3(11)).
  • (iii) The multidisciplinary team shall report on or before December 1 of each year to the governor, the speaker of the house and president of the senate, which report shall summarize the activities of the team, as well as the team's findings, progress towards reaching its goals, and recommendations for any needed changes in legislation or otherwise.
  • (iv) The provisions of § 23-4-3(11)(i) shall sunset and be repealed effective December 31, 2020.
  • SECTION 2. Chapter 23-4 of the General Laws entitled "Office of State Medical Examiners" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
  • 23-4-3.1. Immunity.
  • No member of the multi-disciplinary team for review of drug-related overdose deaths shall be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or entity (and, for members who are state employees, termination, loss of employee or pension benefits), for acting in accordance with § 23-4-3.
  • SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage. The provisions amending § 24-4- 3(11)(i) shall be repealed effective December 31, 2020.
  • ========
  • LC004919
  • LC004919/SUB A/2
  • ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – OFFICE OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
  • ***
  • This act would provide that the state medical examiner is to conduct a multi-disciplinary team review of drug-related overdose deaths.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC004919 ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY – OFFICE OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
  • ***
  • This act would provide that the state medical examiner is to conduct a multi-disciplinary team review of drug-related overdose deaths. This team would report annually to the governor and the general assembly on its findings and recommendation. The provisions establishing this team would be repealed effective December 31, 2020.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. The provisions amending § 24-4-3(11)(i) would be repealed effective December 31, 2020. ======== LC004919/SUB A/2 ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for PASSAGE

June 23, 2018 at 1:49pm
Yeas: 68 / Nays: 1 / Not voting: 6 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Rep. Abney Y
Rep. Ackerman Y
Rep. Ajello Y
Rep. Almeida Y
Rep. Amore Y
Rep. Azzinaro Y
Rep. Barros Y
Rep. Bennett Y
Rep. Blazejewski Y
Rep. Canario Y
Rep. Carson Y
Rep. Casey Y
Rep. Casimiro Y
Rep. Chippendale Y
Rep. Corvese Y
Rep. Costantino Y
Rep. Coughlin Y
Rep. Craven Y
Rep. Cunha NV
Rep. Diaz Y
Rep. Donovan Y
Rep. Edwards Y
Rep. Fellela Y
Rep. Filippi Y
Rep. Fogarty Y
Rep. Giarrusso Y
Rep. Handy NV
Rep. Hearn NV
Rep. Hull Y
Rep. Jacquard Y
Rep. Johnston Y
Rep. Kazarian NV
Rep. Keable Y
Rep. Kennedy Y
Rep. Knight Y
Rep. Lancia Y
Rep. Lima Y
Rep. Lombardi Y
Rep. Maldonado Y
Rep. Marshall Y
Rep. Marszalkowski Y
Rep. Mattiello Y
Rep. McEntee Y
Rep. McKiernan Y
Rep. McLaughlin Y
Rep. McNamara Y
Rep. Mendonca Y
Rep. Messier Y
Rep. Morgan Y
Rep. Morin Y
Rep. Nardolillo Y
Rep. Newberry NV
Rep. Nunes Y
Rep. O'Brien Y
Rep. O'Grady Y
Rep. Perez Y
Rep. Phillips Y
Rep. Price Y
Rep. Quattrocchi Y
Rep. Ranglin-Vassell Y
Rep. Regunberg Y
Rep. Roberts Y
Rep. Ruggiero Y
Rep. Serpa Y
Rep. Shanley Y
Rep. Shekarchi Y
Rep. Slater Y
Rep. Solomon Y
Rep. Tanzi Y
Rep. Tobon Y
Rep. Ucci Y
Rep. Vella-Wilkinson Y
Rep. Walsh N
Rep. Williams Y
Rep. Winfield NV

Floor vote for Passage In Concurrence

June 23, 2018 at 9:58pm
Yeas: 26 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 11 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere NV
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley NV
Sen. Cote NV
Sen. Coyne NV
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte NV
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag NV
Sen. Fogarty Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Gee NV
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Jabour NV
Sen. Lombardi NV
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan NV
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell NV
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y