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PRINTER'S NO. 305
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
305
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY D. COSTA, MURT, CALTAGIRONE, DONATUCCI, BARRAR,
SAINATO, BAKER, DUSH, NEILSON, IRVIN, MILLARD, GABLER,
THOMAS, McNEILL, MULLERY, DeLUCA, MILNE, DEASY, KORTZ AND
READSHAW, FEBRUARY 3, 2017
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, FEBRUARY 3, 2017
AN ACT
Amending the act of November 29, 1990 (P.L.585, No.148),
entitled "An act providing for confidentiality of certain
records; providing for the authorized sharing of certain
information; providing for written consent prior to an HIV-
related test, with certain exceptions; providing for civil
immunity for certain licensed physicians; providing for
protective procedures and equipment; and creating a civil
cause of action," further providing for legislative intent
and for definitions; providing for certification of
significant exposure of inmate's blood or bodily fluid; and
further providing for court order.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 2 of the act of November 29, 1990
(P.L.585, No.148), known as the Confidentiality of HIV-Related
Information Act, is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 2. Legislative intent.
* * *
(e) Intent with respect to corrections staff.--It is the
intent of the General Assembly to provide a mechanism for
corrections staff members who experience a significant exposure
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of an inmate's blood or bodily fluids to learn of the inmate's
status regarding infection of HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
This knowledge will enable a corrections staff member to make
informed decisions with respect to modes and duration of therapy
and measures to reduce the likelihood of transmitting infection
to others.
Section 2. The definitions of "available blood" and
"significant exposure" in section 3 of the act are amended and
the section is amended by adding definitions to read:
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Available blood." The term means:
(1) Blood that is in the possession of the institutional
health care provider or the source patient's physician
pursuant to a valid authorization.
(2) For purposes of section 6.1, blood that is in
possession of a correctional facility pursuant to medical
care provided to the inmate prior to significant exposure, as
defined in paragraph (2) of the definition of "significant
exposure" in this section.
* * *
"Correctional facility." A State or a county correctional
institution. The term includes a community corrections facility
or community corrections center as defined in 61 Pa.C.S. ยง 5001
(relating to definitions).
"Corrections staff member." An individual who provides
health care, occupational or other services to inmates at a
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correctional facility. The term includes an individual who is:
(1) paid by the Commonwealth or a county;
(2) paid by a private entity that has a contract with
the Commonwealth or a county; or
(3) a volunteer.
* * *
"Significant exposure." The term means:
(1) Direct contact with blood or body fluids of a
patient in a manner which, according to the most current
guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control, is capable of
transmitting human immunodeficiency virus, including, but not
limited to, a percutaneous injury (e.g., a needle stick or
cut with a sharp object), contact of mucous membranes or
contact of skin (especially when the exposed skin is chapped,
abraded or afflicted with dermatitis) or if the contact is
prolonged or involves an extensive area.
(2) For purposes of section 6.1, direct contact with
blood or bodily fluids of an inmate in a correctional
facility in a manner that:
(i) according to the most current guidelines of the
Centers for Disease Control, is capable of transmitting
HIV, including, but not limited to, a percutaneous
injury, that is, a needle stick or cut with a sharp
object, contact with mucous membranes or contact of skin,
especially when the skin is chapped, abraded or afflicted
with dermatitis, or if the contact is prolonged or
involves an extensive area; or
(ii) is capable of transmitting hepatitis B virus or
hepatitis C virus.
* * *
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Section 3. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 6.1. Certification of significant exposure of inmate's
blood or bodily fluid.
(a) Physician's evaluation of significant exposure.--
(1) If a corrections staff member experiences an
exposure to an inmate's blood or bodily fluids during the
course of rendering health care, occupational services or
other services, the individual may request an evaluation of
the exposure, by a physician, to determine if the exposure is
a significant exposure. No physician shall certify the
physician's own significant exposure or that of any of the
physician's employees. Requests must be made within 72 hours
of the exposure.
(2) Within 72 hours of the request, the physician shall
make written certification of the significance of the
exposure.
(3) If the physician determines that the individual has
experienced a significant exposure, the physician shall offer
the exposed individual the opportunity to undergo testing for
HIV, following the procedure outlined in section 5.
(b) Use of available blood.--In the event that the inmate
does not consent to a testing of the inmate's blood for HIV,
hepatitis B or hepatitis C after the occurrence of the
significant exposure to a corrections staff member, the
correctional facility shall test the inmate's available blood
for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C if all of the following
conditions are met:
(1) The corrections staff member requests that the
inmate's blood be tested for HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
(2) A significant exposure to the inmate's blood has
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been documented by a physician in accordance with subsection
(a).
(3) A physician documented that the results of tests on
the inmate's blood are needed to treat the individual as
recommended by the most current guidelines of the United
States Public Health Service.
(4) The individual provides a blood sample within 72
hours, or as soon as practicable, whichever is sooner.
(c) If inmate consents to testing of blood.--The inmate
shall be given the opportunity to consent to a testing of the
inmate's blood after a significant exposure.
(d) Test results.--The following are authorized to receive
the results of the testing on the inmate's blood after a
significant exposure occurs:
(1) The corrections staff member.
(2) The inmate.
(3) The attorney for the Commonwealth, if the
significant exposure is alleged to be a violation of an
offense set forth in 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to crimes and
offenses).
(4) The physician specified in subsection (b) and any
other physician or health care provider who is involved with
treatment of the individual or inmate.
(5) In the event of a positive test for HIV, the
department and local boards and departments of health, as
authorized by the act of April 23, 1956 (1955 P.L.1510,
No.500), known as the Disease Prevention and Control Law of
1955.
(6) In the event of a positive test for HIV, the
department and persons authorized to gather, transmit or
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receive vital statistics under the act of June 29, 1953
(P.L.304, No.66), known as the Vital Statistics Law of 1953.
(e) Immunity for good faith conduct.--The following shall
apply:
(1) The physician who certifies that a significant
exposure has occurred as provided in this section shall not
be subject to civil liability if acting in the good faith and
reasonable belief that the documentation of significant
exposure was appropriate and consistent with this section.
(2) Physicians, health care providers and employees of a
correctional facility shall be immune for acts committed in
good faith to implement the provisions of this section.
(f) Construction.--This section shall not be construed to
preclude or limit any other testing of an inmate's blood that is
otherwise lawfully permitted by search warrant, court order,
statute or common law.
Section 4. Section 8(c) of the act is amended to read:
Section 8. Court order.
* * *
(c) Compelling need.--In assessing compelling need for
subsections (a) and (b), the court shall weigh the need for
disclosure against the privacy interest of the individual and
the public interests which may be harmed by disclosure. In the
event the court determines that a corrections staff member is
seeking access to confidential HIV-related information due to a
significant exposure to an inmate's blood under paragraph (2) of
the definition of "significant exposure," there shall be a
presumption of compelling need. The presumption may be overcome
by clear and convincing evidence.
* * *
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Section 5. The amendment or addition of sections 2(e), 3,
6.1 and 8(c) of the act shall apply to a significant exposure
occurring on or after the effective date of this section.
Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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