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H.356

Introduced by Representative Freidin of New Haven

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject: Mental health; reporting persons who are in need of treatment; immunity

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to require certain public officers and health care providers to report individuals who are in need of treatment to the department of developmental and mental health services and to provide immunity from civil and criminal liability for making such a report. The bill also proposes to provide immunity from civil and criminal liability to any person who reports an individual in need of treatment to a law enforcement officer, mental health professional, a licensed physician, head of a hospital, selectboard member, town service officer or a town health officer.

AN ACT RELATING TO REPORTING A PERSON WHO IS IN NEED OF TREATMENT AND IMMUNITY FROM CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR MAKING A REPORT

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 7114 is added to read:

§ 7114. DUTY TO REPORT INDIVIDUALS IN NEED OF TREATMENT;

IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR MAKING REPORT

(a) A law enforcement officer, mental health professional, a licensed physician, head of a hospital, selectboard member, town service officer or a town health officer who has reason to suspect or has received information that an individual is a person in need of treatment, as defined in subdivision 7101(17) of this title, shall report such information to the department of developmental and mental health services within 48 hours of acquiring such information. Any person who in good faith makes a report as required by this subsection shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, for making the report.

(b) Any person who in good faith reports that an individual is a person in need of treatment to a law enforcement officer, mental health professional, a licensed physician, head of a hospital, selectboard member, town service officer or a town health officer shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, for making the report.