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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.748

Introduced by Representatives Clark of Vergennes, Errecart of Shelburne, Barnard of Richmond, Mook of Bennington, Gilbert of Fairfax, McDonald of Berlin, Oxholm of Vergennes and Peltz of Woodbury

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; health; allergies

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to permit students with

life-threatening food allergies or other life-threatening chronic illnesses to possess and self-administer life‑saving medications on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, and during school-related programs occurring before or after the regular school day, or both.  

AN ACT RELATING TO PERMITTING STUDENTS TO POSSESS AND SELF-ADMINISTER LIFE-SAVING MEDICINE

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

Sec. 1.  FINDINGS

(a)  According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 1980 through 1995, asthma among children under the age of 18 in the United States more than doubled, from 3.6 percent in 1980 to 7.5 percent in 1995.  By 2006, the percentage of children under the age of 18 with asthma rose to 9.4 percent, or 6.8 million children.

(b)  According to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, a national nonprofit advocacy and research entity, it is estimated that 3.1 million children in the United States under the age of 18 have one or more food allergies.  There is also evidence suggesting that the number of children with multiple food allergies is rising.  It is estimated that approximately 435,000 children of school age have a life-threatening peanut allergy, 1.8 million have

life-threatening tree nut allergies, and 900,000 have a milk allergy that can be life-threatening.

(c)  Immediate access to life-saving medications is imperative for individuals with asthma, life-threatening food allergies, and other life threatening chronic illnesses.   

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 1387 is added to read:

§ 1387.  POSSESSION AND SELF-ADMINISTRATION OF LIFE-SAVING MEDICATION

(a)  Pursuant to the requirements of this section, each public and approved independent school in the state shall permit students with one or more

life-threatening chronic illnesses or allergies to possess and self-administer life-saving medication on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, and during school-related programs occurring before or after the regular school day, or both.

(b)  In each school year for which possession and self‑administration of

life-saving medication is requested, the student’s parent or guardian shall provide the school with:

(1)  Written authorization, on a form to be provided by the school, for the student to possess and self-administer life-saving medication. 

(2)  Written documentation from the student’s physician:

(A)  Stating that the student has one or more life-threatening chronic illnesses or allergies.

(B)  Detailing a plan of action for each illness or allergy, including the name of the life-saving medication, the dosage, and the times and circumstances under which the medication is to be taken.

(C)  Affirming that the student is capable of, and has been instructed in, the proper method of self-administration of the life-saving medication.

(c)  If a student who is permitted to possess and self-administer life-saving medication uses the medication in a manner other than as prescribed under subdivision (b)(2)(B) of this section, then the school may impose disciplinary actions pursuant to school policy; provided that in no case shall the disciplinary action limit or restrict the student’s immediate access to the medication.

(d)  The student’s parent or guardian shall sign a statement on a form to be provided by the school, releasing the school and its employees and agents, including volunteers, from liability as a result of any injury arising from the student’s self-administration of the life-saving medication, except when the conduct of the school, school employee, or agent would constitute gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, or intentional misconduct. 

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall apply during the 2008–2009 academic year and after.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us