2nd Engrossment - 81st Legislature (1999 - 2000) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to public health; providing that a person who 1.3 leaves an unharmed newborn child at a hospital may not 1.4 be prosecuted; providing for duties to be undertaken 1.5 by a hospital when accepting an unharmed newborn 1.6 child; providing immunity from liability for hospitals 1.7 and their personnel when carrying out those duties; 1.8 limiting duty to implement certain relative preference 1.9 placement requirements; proposing coding for new law 1.10 in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 145; and 609. 1.11 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.12 Section 1. [145.902] [HOSPITAL DUTIES AND IMMUNITY FROM 1.13 LIABILITY.] 1.14 Subdivision 1. [GENERAL.] A hospital licensed under 1.15 sections 144.50 to 144.56 shall receive any unharmed newborn 1.16 baby left with a hospital employee on the hospital premises. 1.17 The hospital must not inquire as to the identity of the mother 1.18 or call the police, provided the baby is unharmed when presented 1.19 to the hospital. A hospital with responsibility for performing 1.20 duties under this section, and any employee, doctor, or other 1.21 medical professional working at the hospital, are immune from 1.22 any criminal liability that otherwise might result from their 1.23 actions, if they are acting in good faith in receiving a newborn 1.24 baby, and are immune from any civil liability that otherwise 1.25 might result from merely receiving a newborn baby. 1.26 Subd. 2. [MANDATED REPORTER IMMUNITY.] A hospital 1.27 performing duties under this section, or an employee, doctor, or 1.28 other medical professional working at the hospital who is a 2.1 mandated reporter under section 626.556, is immune from any 2.2 criminal or civil liability that otherwise might result from the 2.3 failure to make a report under that section if the person is 2.4 acting in good faith in complying with this section. 2.5 Subd. 3. [LIMITED DUTY TO SEARCH FOR RELATIVES.] A local 2.6 social service agency taking custody of a child after discharge 2.7 from a hospital that received a child under subdivision 2 is not 2.8 required to search for relatives of the child as a placement or 2.9 permanency option under section 260C.193 or to implement other 2.10 placement requirements that give a preference to relatives if 2.11 the agency does not have information as to the identity of the 2.12 child, the child's mother, or the child's father. 2.13 Sec. 2. [609.3785] [UNHARMED NEWBORNS LEFT AT HOSPITALS; 2.14 AVOIDANCE OF PROSECUTION.] 2.15 A person may leave a newborn baby with a hospital employee 2.16 at a hospital in this state without being subjected to 2.17 prosecution for that act, provided that: 2.18 (1) the baby was born within 72 hours prior to the hospital 2.19 drop-off; 2.20 (2) the baby is dropped off in an unharmed condition; and 2.21 (3) in cases where the person leaving the newborn baby is 2.22 not the baby's mother, the person has the mother's approval to 2.23 do so.