Bill requires parental notification for prescribing contraceptives
SB 473, sponsored by Sen. Mark Maynard, requires a physician providing contraceptives to a minor “under the age of 18 years who has not graduated from high school” notify the minor’s parent when providing a contraceptive. The bill was referred to the Health and Human Resources and the Judiciary Committees.
Bill authorizes physicians to involuntarily commit
HB4009 – Relating to the process for involuntary hospitalization, should be on first reading Thursday in the House of Delegates. It authorizes a physician to order involuntary hospitalization in the absence of magistrate, judge or mental health commissioner. (The individuals who normally conduct mental hygiene hearings, required for involuntary commitment.)
A similar bill died last year in the House after being amended at practically every step of the process in the senate. The bill allows hospital physicians, implicitly emergency room physicians, to involuntarily hospitalize someone needing treatment—implicitly, again, for behavioral health issues—for up to 72 hours until a mental hygiene hearing can be conducted.
Opponents of the bill argue it’s too quick to deprive an individual of his or her rights without due process. Supporters say it’s needed to protect patients and provide a continuum of care.
Bill allows CRNAs to perform ‘any act’ regarding anesthesia administration, care
HB 4356, introduced by House Health and Human Resources Chairman Jordan Hill and Cabell physician Matthew Rohrbach, allows certified registered nurse anesthetists who meet certain criteria to provide “any act involving the determination, preparation, administration or monitoring of anesthesia care and anesthesia care-related services.” The CRNAs must cooperate with a physician or dentist. Cooperation is defined as “a process in which the certified registered nurse anesthetist and the surgeon or dentist work together with each contributing an area of expertise, at their individual and respective levels of education and training.”
The bill has a single reference to the Health and Human Resources Committee.
Bill fines, imprisons physicians for performing abortions
SB 480, introduced by Sen. Maynard, has legislative findings comparing abortions to world atrocities such as Jewish people being murdered in concentration camps and murders by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
It prohibits abortions except when a physician “determines that an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” Except in emergency cases, that determination has to be confirmed by a second physician within 180 days after the abortion.
Persons performing abortions are “guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $25,000 or confined in a state correctional facility for not less than two years nor more than five years, or both fined and confined.”
Those attempting to perform an abortion can be fined up to $10,000 and confined for one year, or both.
Bill requires ‘reasonable medical judgment’ to preserve life of baby
HB 4007, which requires a physician use “reasonable medical judgment” to preserve the life and health of a child born alive when a physician performs or attempts to perform an abortion, passed the House of Delegates Wednesday on a 93-5 vote.
Opponents argued the bill does nothing, making illegal something that is already illegal.
Supporters said the bill offers life-saving measures to babies who may otherwise die following an abortion procedure.
The bill now goes to the Senate. The Senate doesn’t generally take up House bills until around Day 30 of the session. However, several governors, according to discussion during debate, have vetoed similar bills passed in other states. Acting early on the bill could set up a possible veto override.