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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 113 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 113

(By Delegates Miley, Sobonya, Poore, Barker, Border, Brown, D. Campbell, Caputo, Diserio, Doyle, Ellem, Ferns, Ferro, Fleischauer, Fragale, Guthrie, Hatfield, Hunt, Jones, Lane, Lawrence, Longstreth, Mahan, Manchin, Manypenny, Martin, C. Miller, Moore, O'Neal, Pasdon, Pethtel, L. Phillips, M. Poling, Rowan, Staggers, Storch, Sumner, Swartzmiller,

                   Wells and Williams)

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study the need for legislation to provide a uniform system to meet the “standard of care” for victims of sexual assault by providing Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) and other trained medical personnel to conduct forensic medical examinations in all West Virginia hospitals and other appropriate medical facilities.

    Whereas, The study should include consideration of how to ensure Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) and other trained medical personnel are available on call twenty-four hours each day to provide forensic medical examinations to victims of sexual assault; and

    Whereas, The study should include consideration of how to expand SANE training for nurses and other qualified medical personnel in licensed medical facilities to improve victim access to health professionals by providing appropriately trained examiners to conduct forensic medical examinations. Ultimately this will increase reporting and victim access to the criminal justice system and improve case outcomes; and

    Whereas, The study should include consideration of how to insure compliance of the West Virginia Protocol for Responding to Victims of Sexual Assault to provide a “standard of care” to ensure appropriate, consistent and compassionate medical care and a forensic medical examination for victims of sexual assault, as well as the proper use of the WVSP sexual assault evidence collection kit; and

    Whereas, The study should include consideration and identification of a variety of program models that could serve all areas in West Virginia (i.e. regional mobile SANE sites with teams of on-call SANEs providing forensic medical examination serving multiple licensed medical hospitals in established regional areas throughout the state as well as programs established within a hospital); and

    Whereas, The study should include consideration of the issue of increasing the amount reimbursed to licensed medical facilities for the forensic medical examinations; and

    Whereas, Other states, including our neighboring Kentucky, provide for a uniform system whereby hospitals that provide emergency services have a legal duty to provide forensic medical examinations by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) or trained medical personnel who provide comprehensive care where both the medical needs are addressed and forensic items are collected in sexual assault cases for victims of sexual assault; and

    Whereas, These states require forensic medical examinations be conducted by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), who are registered nurses with specialized training, or other trained medical personnel who have completed specialized training in the dynamics of sexual assault and the collection of forensic items; and

    Whereas, A uniform system to meet the “standard of care” for victims of sexual assault by providing forensic medical examinations conducted by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) or trained medical personnel throughout the process is needed to protect the health of and well-being of victims of sexual assault and to facilitate successful prosecution of offenders committing these crimes; and

    Whereas, Consideration of a number of factors should be assessed before establishing a uniform system, including, but not limited to, the availability of data from the West Virginia state crime lab assessing the current environment of forensic examinations performed across the state; and

    Whereas, Other factors should be considered in the development of a uniform system, including, but not limited to, coordination with other advocates including law enforcement and other healthcare professionals which may serve the assault victim at certain specific points; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to conduct a study of the need for legislation to create a uniform system to meet the “standard of care” for victims of sexual assault by providing Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANEs) and other trained medical personnel to conduct forensic medical examinations in all West Virginia hospitals and other appropriate medical facilities; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Legislature, on the first day of the regular session 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations together with drafts of any legislation to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report, and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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