CRIMES CODE (18 PA.C.S.) AND DOMESTIC RELATIONS CODE (23 PA.C.S.) - AMEND
                            NEWBORN PROTECTION
                 Act of Dec. 9, 2002, P.L. 1549, No. 201              Cl. 18
                             Session of 2002
                               No. 2002-201

     SB 654

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 23 (Domestic
        Relations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes,
        providing for newborn protection.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
     Statutes is amended by adding a section to read:
      § 4306.  Newborn protection.
        (a)  General rule.--A parent of a newborn shall not be
     criminally liable for any violation of this title solely for
     leaving a newborn in the care of a hospital pursuant to 23
     Pa.C.S. Ch. 65 (relating to newborn protection) providing that
     the following criteria are met:
            (1)  The parent expresses, either orally or through
        conduct, the intent to have the hospital accept the newborn
        pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. Ch. 65.
            (2)  The newborn is not a victim of child abuse or
        criminal conduct.
        (b)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term "newborn"
     shall have the meaning given to it in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6502
     (relating to definitions) and "child abuse" shall be as defined
     in 23 Pa.C.S. § 6303 (relating to definitions).
        Section 2.  Section 6303(a) of Title 23 is amended by adding
     definitions to read:
      § 6303.  Definitions.
        (a)  General rule.--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."  Includes a newborn.
        * * *
        "Newborn."  As defined in section 6502 (relating to
     definitions).
        * * *
        Section 3.  Section 6315(a) and (c) of Title 23 are amended
     to read:
      § 6315.  Taking child into protective custody.
        (a)  General rule.--A child may be taken into protective
     custody:
            (1)  As provided by 42 Pa.C.S. § 6324 (relating to taking
        into custody).
            (2)  By a physician examining or treating the child or by
        the director, or a person specifically designated in writing
        by the director, of any hospital or other medical institution
        where the child is being treated if protective custody is
        immediately necessary to protect the child under this
        chapter.
            (3)  By a physician or the director, or a person
        specifically designated by the director, of a hospital
        pursuant to Chapter 65 (relating to newborn protection) if
        the child is a newborn.
        * * *
        (c)  Notice of custody.--[An]
            (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), an individual
        taking a child into protective custody under this chapter
        shall immediately, and within 24 hours in writing, notify the
        parent, guardian or other custodian of the child of the
        whereabouts of the child, unless prohibited by court order,
        and the reasons for the need to take the child into
        protective custody and shall immediately notify the
        appropriate county agency in order that proceedings under 42
        Pa.C.S. Ch. 63 (relating to juvenile matters) may be
        initiated, if appropriate.
            (2)  In the case of a newborn taken into protective
        custody pursuant to subsection (a)(3), the county agency
        shall within 24 hours make diligent efforts to notify a
        parent, guardian, custodian or other family member of the
        whereabouts of the newborn, unless prohibited by court order,
        and the reasons for the need to take the newborn into
        protective custody.
        * * *
        Section 4.  Section 6316(b) of Title 23 is amended and the
     section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
      § 6316.  Admission to private and public hospitals.
        * * *
        (a.1)  Newborns.--A newborn taken into protective custody
     pursuant to section 6315(a)(3) (relating to taking child into
     protective custody) shall be admitted to, treated and maintained
     in facilities of public and private hospitals on the basis of
     medical need and shall not be refused or deprived in any way of
     proper medical treatment and care. Once a newborn is taken into
     protective custody pursuant to section 6315(a)(3), the newborn
     shall be considered immediately eligible for Medicaid for
     payment of medical services provided. Until otherwise provided
     by court order, the county agency shall assume the
     responsibility for making decisions regarding the newborn's
     medical care.
        (b)  Failure of hospital to admit child or newborn.--The
     failure of a hospital to admit and properly treat and care for a
     child pursuant to subsection (a) or (a.1) shall be cause for the
     department to order immediate admittance, treatment and care by
     the hospital which shall be enforceable, if necessary, by the
     prompt institution of a civil action by the department. The
     child, through an attorney, shall also have the additional and
     independent right to seek immediate injunctive relief and
     institute an appropriate civil action for damages against the
     hospital.
        Section 5.  Sections 6365(a) and 6383(a) of Title 23 are
     amended to read:
      § 6365.  Services for prevention, investigation and treatment
                of child abuse.
        (a)  Instruction and education.--Each county agency shall
     make available among its services for the prevention and
     treatment of child abuse instruction and education for
     parenthood and parenting skills, protective and preventive
     social counseling, outreach and counseling services to prevent
     newborn abandonment, emergency caretaker services, emergency
     shelter care, emergency medical services and the establishment
     of self-help groups organized for the prevention and treatment
     of child abuse, part-day services, out-of-home placement
     services, therapeutic activities for child and family directed
     at alleviating conditions that present a risk to the safety and
     well-being of a child and any other services required by
     department regulations.
        * * *
      § 6383.  Education and training.
        (a)  Duties of department and county agencies.--The
     department and each county agency, both jointly and
     individually, shall conduct a continuing publicity and education
     program for the citizens of this Commonwealth aimed at the
     prevention of child abuse and child neglect, including the
     prevention of newborn abandonment, the identification of abused
     and neglected children and the provision of necessary
     ameliorative services to abused and neglected children and their
     families. The department and each county agency shall conduct an
     ongoing training and education program for local staff, persons
     required to make reports and other appropriate persons in order
     to familiarize those persons with the reporting and
     investigative procedures for cases of suspected child abuse and
     the rehabilitative services that are available to children and
     families. In addition, the department shall, by regulation,
     establish a program of training and certification for persons
     classified as protective services workers. The regulations shall
     provide for the grandfathering of all current permanent
     protective services workers as certified protective services
     workers. Upon request by the county agency and approval of the
     department, the agency may conduct the training of the county's
     protective services workers.
        * * *
        Section 6.  Title 23 is amended by adding a chapter to read:
                                CHAPTER 65
                            NEWBORN PROTECTION
     Sec.
     6501.  Short title of chapter.
     6502.  Definitions.
     6503.  Nonliability.
     6504.  Accepting newborns.
     6505.  Reporting acceptance of newborns.
     6506.  Failure to report acceptance of newborns.
     6507.  Immunity granted to health care providers and hospitals.
     6508.  Duty of hospital.
     6509.  Duties of department.
      § 6501.  Short title of chapter.
        This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Newborn
     Protection Act.
      § 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.
        "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
     granted to health care providers and hospitals), 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.
      § 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.
      § 6504.  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).
            (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 accepting a newborn pursuant
     to this chapter, a parent may provide a health care provider
     with information about the newborn's medical history and any
     identifying information.
      § 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. For purposes of this
     section, the term "health care provider" shall include
     administrative, managerial and security personnel employed by a
     hospital.
      § 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.
      § 6507.  Immunity granted to health care providers and
                    hospitals.
        Except for a violation of section 6506 (relating to failure
     to report acceptance of newborns), no hospital or health care
     provider at a hospital shall be subject to civil liability or
     criminal penalty solely by reason of complying with the
     provisions of this chapter.
      § 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.
      § 6509.  Duties of department.
        The department shall provide educational materials for use by
     hospitals, health care providers and employees at hospitals
     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 health care providers and hospitals 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 other
     applicable provisions of Chapter 63 that relate to newborn
     protection.
        Section 7.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 9th day of December, A. D. 2002.

     MARK S. SCHWEIKER