23c6501h

 

 

CHAPTER 65

NEWBORN PROTECTION

 

Sec.

6501.  Short title of chapter.

6502.  Definitions.

6503.  Nonliability.

6504.  Health care providers accepting newborns.

6504.1. Police officers accepting newborns.

6504.2. Emergency services providers accepting newborns.

6504.3. Incubators for newborns.

6505.  Reporting acceptance of newborns.

6506.  Failure to report acceptance of newborns.

6507.  Immunity.

6508.  Duty of hospital.

6509.  Duties of department.

 

Enactment.  Chapter 65 was added December 9, 2002, P.L.1549, No.201, effective in 60 days.

Cross References.  Chapter 65 is referred to in section 6315 of this title; section 4306 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6501s

§ 6501.  Short title of chapter.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Newborn Protection Act.

23c6502s

§ 6502.  Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Child abuse."  Child abuse as defined in section 6303(b) (relating to definitions).

"County agency" or "agency."  County agency as defined in section 6303(a) (relating to definitions).

"Department."  The Department of Public Welfare of the Commonwealth.

"Emergency services provider."  An emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced emergency medical technician or a paramedic as defined in 35 Pa.C.S. § 8103 (relating to definitions).

"Health care provider."  A person who is licensed or certified by the laws of this Commonwealth to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession. For purposes of accepting a newborn as provided in section 6504(a)(1) (relating to accepting newborns) and for immunity provided pursuant to section 6507 (relating to immunity), the term includes administrative, managerial and security personnel and any other person employed by a hospital.

"Hospital."  An institution having an organized medical staff which is primarily engaged in providing to inpatients, by or under the supervision of physicians, diagnostic and therapeutic services or rehabilitation services for the care or rehabilitation of people who are injured, disabled, pregnant, diseased, sick or mentally ill. The term includes facilities for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders within the scope of specific medical specialties, but not facilities caring exclusively for people with mental illness or those facilities primarily engaged in providing rehabilitation services or long-term care.

"Newborn."  A child less than 28 days of age as reasonably determined by a physician.

"Police department."  A public agency of a political subdivision having general police powers and charged with making arrests in connection with the enforcement of criminal or traffic laws.

"Police officer."  A full-time or part-time employee assigned to criminal or traffic law enforcement duties of a police department of a county, city, borough, town or township. The term also includes a member of the State Police Force.

"Police station."  The station or headquarters of a police department or a Pennsylvania State Police station or headquarters.

23c6502v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 68 added the def. of "emergency services provider."

2014 Amendment.  Act 91 amended the def. of "health care provider" and added the defs. of "police department," "police officer" and "police station."

References in Text.  The Department of Public Welfare, referred to in this section, was redesignated as the Department of Human Services by Act 132 of 2014.

Section 6303(b), referred to in the def. of "child abuse," was deleted by Act 108 of 2013.

Cross References.  Section 6502 is referred to in section 6303 this title; section 4306 of Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses).

23c6503s

§ 6503.  Nonliability.

A parent of a newborn shall not be criminally liable under any provision of Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses) if the criteria set forth in 18 Pa.C.S § 4306 (relating to newborn protection) are met.

23c6504s

§ 6504.  Health care providers accepting newborns.

(a)  General rule.--A health care provider at a hospital shall do all of the following relating to a newborn accepted under this chapter:

(1)  Take the newborn into protective custody as provided in section 6315(a)(3) (relating to taking child into protective custody) or 6504.1(a)(2) (relating to police officers accepting newborns).

(2)  Perform a medical evaluation as well as perform any act necessary to care for and protect the physical health and safety of the newborn.

(3)  Notify the county agency and the local municipal police department or the Pennsylvania State Police where no municipal police jurisdiction exists as provided in section 6505 (relating to reporting acceptance of newborns).

(b)  Accepting newborns.--When a health care provider accepts a newborn pursuant to this chapter, a parent, police officer or emergency services provider may provide a health care provider with information about the newborn's medical history and any identifying information.

23c6504v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 68 amended subsec. (b).

2014 Amendment.  Act 91 amended the section heading and subsecs. (a)(1) and (b).

Cross References.  Section 6504 is referred to in sections 6502, 6504.1, 6504.2 of this title.

23c6504.1s

§ 6504.1.  Police officers accepting newborns.

(a)  Duties.--A police officer at a police station shall do all of the following relating to a newborn accepted under this chapter:

(1)  Take the newborn into protective custody under section 6315(a)(5) (relating to taking child into protective custody).

(2)  Ensure the newborn is transported to a hospital and placed into the care of a health care provider under section 6504 (relating to health care providers accepting newborns).

(b)  Information.--When a police officer accepts a newborn pursuant to this chapter, a parent may provide the police officer with information about the newborn's medical history and any identifying information.

23c6504.1v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days)

 

2014 Amendment.  Act 91 added section 6504.1.

Cross References.  Section 6504.1 is referred to in sections 6504, 6505 of this title.

23c6504.2s

§ 6504.2.  Emergency services providers accepting newborns.

(a)  Duties.--In accepting a newborn under this chapter, an emergency services provider shall:

(1)  take the newborn into protective custody as specified under section 6315(a)(6) (relating to taking child into protective custody); and

(2)  ensure the newborn is transported to a hospital and placed into the care of a health care provider as specified under section 6504 (relating to health care providers accepting newborns).

(b)  Medical history.--When an emergency services provider accepts a newborn under this chapter, a parent may provide the emergency services provider with information about the newborn's medical history and identifying information.

(c)  Temporary signage.--An entity employing an emergency services provider accepting newborns under this chapter shall ensure its grounds or the grounds of an entity otherwise providing access to an emergency services provider clearly indicate, for a minimum of 18 months, that emergency services providers may accept newborns under section 6315(a) and 18 Pa.C.S. § 4306 (relating to newborn protection).

23c6504.2v

(Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. 60 days)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 68 added section 6504.2.

Cross References.  Section 6504.2 is referred to in section 6505 of this title.

23c6504.3s

§ 6504.3.  Incubators for newborns.

(a)  Provision optional.--A hospital, police station or other entity employing or otherwise providing access to an emergency services provider may provide an incubator for the care of a newborn accepted under this chapter.

(b)  Regulations.--The Department of Health shall promulgate regulations for providing an incubator under subsection (a). The regulations shall include all of the following:

(1)  Sanitation standards for an incubator.

(2)  Procedures to provide emergency care for an infant placed in an incubator.

(3)  Manufacturing and manufacturer standards for an incubator.

(4)  Design and function requirements for an incubator which shall include all of the following:

(i)  Installation of an incubator at a hospital, police station or other entity which employs or otherwise provides access to an emergency services provider.

(ii)  Allowance of an infant to be placed in the incubator anonymously by the parent.

(iii)  Locking an incubator after the parent places the infant in the incubator to prevent third parties from having access to the infant.

(iv)  Providing a controlled environment to protect and care for the infant.

(v)  Providing notice to the personnel of a hospital, police station or other entity which employs or otherwise provides access to an emergency services provider within 30 seconds of the infant being placed by the parent in the incubator.

(vi)  Triggering a 911 call if the personnel of a hospital, police station or other entity which employs or otherwise provides access to emergency services provider does not respond within a reasonable amount of time under subparagraph (v).

(5)  Operating policy, supervision and maintenance requirements for an incubator, including that only an emergency services provider at an entity that employs or otherwise provides access to the emergency services provider, a health care provider at a hospital or police officer at a police station may take an infant into protective custody in accordance with Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

(6)  Qualifications to install an incubator.

(7)  Procedures and forms for the free registration with the Department of Health of installers qualified to install incubators in accordance with this chapter.

(8)  Procedures for the free registration with the Department of Health of an incubator installed in accordance with this chapter.

(9)  The creation and installation of signs near an incubator to provide information to parents about how to use the incubators.

(10)  Any other provisions deemed necessary by the Department of Health to ensure the safety of an infant and the safe use of an incubator by a parent.

(c)  Notice.--The Department of Health shall publish notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of the promulgation of final regulations regarding incubators under subsection (b).

23c6504.3v

(Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68)

 

2017 Amendment.  Act 68 added section 6504.3. Section 7(1)(ii) of Act 68 provided that subsecs. (b) and (c) shall take effect immediately. Section 7(2) of Act 68 provided that subsec. (a) shall take effect 120 days after the publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of the promulgation of final regulations under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6504.3(c).

23c6505s

§ 6505.  Reporting acceptance of newborns.

A health care provider at a hospital shall in all cases notify the county agency and the local municipal police department or the Pennsylvania State Police where no municipal police jurisdiction exists immediately by telephone regarding a newborn accepted by a hospital under this chapter. A written report shall be submitted to the county agency and local municipal police department or the Pennsylvania State Police within 48 hours after the oral report. This section applies in the case of a hospital accepting a newborn pursuant to sections 6504.1(a)(2) (relating to police officers accepting newborns) and 6504.2(a)(2) (relating to emergency services providers accepting newborns). For purposes of this section, the term "health care provider" shall include administrative, managerial and security personnel employed by a hospital.

23c6505v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 6505 is referred to in section 6504 of this title.

23c6506s

§ 6506.  Failure to report acceptance of newborns.

A health care provider at a hospital who intentionally or knowingly fails to report the acceptance by a hospital of a newborn as required by this chapter commits a summary offense. A second or subsequent failure to report such acceptance is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

23c6506v

 

Cross References.  Section 6506 is referred to in section 6507 of this title.

23c6507s

§ 6507.  Immunity.

Except for a violation of section 6506 (relating to failure to report acceptance of newborns), no emergency services provider, entity that employs or otherwise provides access to an emergency services provider, hospital, health care provider at a hospital or police department, police officer or administrative or managerial personnel of a police department shall be subject to civil liability or criminal penalty solely by reason of complying with the provisions of this chapter.

23c6507v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. 60 days)

 

Cross References.  Section 6507 is referred to in section 6502 of this title.

23c6508s

§ 6508.  Duty of hospital.

A hospital shall insure that its officers, health care providers and employees are familiar with the provisions of this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) (relating to taking child into protective custody) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services) that relate to newborn protection and shall insure that the appropriate officers, health care providers and employees, as the case may be, receive educational materials provided by the department as established under section 6509 (relating to duties of department). Information concerning this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn protection and regulations adopted by the department shall be made part of the training at each hospital. Each hospital shall adopt a written policy in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn protection.

23c6509s

§ 6509.  Duties of department.

The department shall provide educational materials for use by emergency services providers, entities which employ or otherwise provide access to emergency services providers, hospitals, health care providers, employees at hospitals and police officers regarding this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) (relating to taking child into protective custody) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services) that relate to newborn protection. The department shall promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn protection. The department shall also provide emergency services providers, entities which employ or otherwise provide access to emergency services providers, health care providers, hospitals, the Pennsylvania State Police and police departments with an informational pamphlet regarding this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn protection which may be distributed to the public. In addition, the department shall comply with the provisions regarding infant abandonment in sections 6365 (relating to services for prevention, investigation and treatment of child abuse) and 6383 (relating to education and training). A report shall be made annually to the General Assembly on the number and disposition of newborns accepted in accordance with this chapter, section 6315(a)(3) and (5) and other applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn protection.

23c6509v

(July 2, 2014, P.L.843, No.91, eff. 60 days; Dec. 22, 2017, P.L.1219, No.68, eff. imd.)

 

Cross References.  Section 6509 is referred to in section 6508 of this title.