Bill Text: TX SB859 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the authority of a health care practitioner to disclose to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors a suspected human trafficking victim's health information.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-01 - Referred to Health & Human Services [SB859 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-SB859-Introduced.html
  86R9838 SCL-D
 
  By: Perry S.B. No. 859
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the authority of a health care practitioner to disclose
  to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors a suspected human
  trafficking victim's health information.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 161, Health and Safety Code, is amended
  by adding Subchapter E-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER E-1. AUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM
  INFORMATION
         Sec. 161.051.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "health care
  practitioner" means an individual who holds a license, certificate,
  permit, or other authorization issued under Title 3, Occupations
  Code, to engage in a health care profession.
         Sec. 161.052.  DISCLOSURE OF SUSPECTED HUMAN TRAFFICKING
  VICTIM. (a)  A health care practitioner may disclose an
  individual's health information to any local, state, or federal law
  enforcement agency or prosecutor without the individual's consent
  if:
               (1)  the practitioner reasonably believes the
  individual is a victim of abuse as a result of conduct constituting
  an offense under Chapter 20A, Penal Code; and
               (2)  the practitioner, in the exercise of the
  practitioner's professional judgment, believes the disclosure is
  necessary to prevent serious harm to the individual or other
  potential victims.
         (b)  An individual who in good faith discloses information
  under this section is not subject to civil or criminal liability for
  damages arising out of the disclosure.
         (c)  A law enforcement agency that receives information
  under Subsection (a) may submit that information to the attorney
  general, the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas,
  another local, state, or federal law enforcement agency, or a
  local, state, or federal prosecutor as evidence of the commission
  of an offense. The agency or prosecutor may use the submitted
  information for the investigation and prosecution of an offense.
         SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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