Report Title:

Dependent Adults; Abuse; Reports

 

Description:

Amends the dependent adult protective services law to require any family or household member who knows or has reason to believe that an adult who is unable to obtain medical care is in need of such care, and is at imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury, to seek medical care for the family member in need of help and report the matter to DHS or county police department. (SB1529 HD1)

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1529

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

relating to dependent adults.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Section 346-224, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]346-224[]] Reports. (a) The following persons who, in the performance of their professional or official duties, know or have reason to believe that a dependent adult has been abused and is threatened with imminent abuse shall promptly report the matter orally to the department of human services:

(1) Any licensed or registered professional of the healing arts and any health-related occupation who examines, treats, or provides other professional or specialized services to dependent adults, including but not limited to, physicians, physicians in training, psychologists, dentists, nurses, osteopathic physicians and surgeons, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, pharmacists, and other health-related professionals;

(2) Employees or officers of any public or private agency or institution providing social, medical, hospital or mental health services, including financial assistance;

(3) Employees or officers of any law enforcement agency including, but not limited to, the courts, police departments, correctional institutions, and parole or probation offices;

(4) Employees or officers of any adult residential care home, adult day care center, or similar institution; and

(5) Medical examiners or coroners.

(b) The initial oral report required by subsection (a) shall be followed as soon as possible by a written report to the department; provided that where a police department is the initiating agency, a written report shall not be required unless the police department has declined to take further action and the department informs the police department that it intends to pursue the matter of the orally reported incident of abuse. All written reports shall contain the name and address of the dependent adult and the person who or care organization or care facility which is alleged to have committed or been responsible for the dependent adult abuse, if known; the nature and extent of the dependent adult's injury or harm; and any other information the reporter believes might be helpful in establishing the cause of the dependent adult abuse.

(c) This section shall not prohibit any of the persons enumerated in subsection (a) from reporting incidents which those persons have reason to believe involve abuse which came to their attention in any private or nonprofessional capacity.

(d) Any family or household member who knows or has reason to believe that an adult, who is unable to obtain medical treatment or care due to mental or physical impairment, is in need of such treatment or care and is at imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury, shall promptly:

(1) Seek medical treatment or care for the adult family or household member who is unable to obtain care for themselves;

(2) Report the matter orally to the department of human services; or

(3) Report the matter orally to a county police department.

[(d)] (e) Any other person who has reason to believe that a dependent adult has been abused or is threatened with imminent abuse may report the matter orally to the department.

[(e)] (f) Any person who knowingly fails to report as required by this section or who wilfully prevents another person from reporting pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

[(f)] (g) The department shall maintain a central registry of reported cases.

(h) For the purposes of this section, "family or household member" means spouses or former spouses, parents, children, and persons jointly residing or formerly residing in the same dwelling unit."

SECTION 2. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.