Adopted by House 4-9-2013
SB108 HH&HR AM 4-4
The Committee on Health and Human Resources moves to amend the
bill, by striking everything after the enacting clause and
inserting in lieu thereof the following:
That §48-25A-1, §48-25A-2, and §48-25A-3 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; that §48-27A-1, §48-27A-2,
of said code be repealed; that §49-5D-5
of said code
said code be amended by adding thereto a new
article, designated §61-12A-1, §61-12A-2, §61-12A-3, §61-12A-4 and
§61-12A-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 12A. FATALITY REVIEW TEAM.
§61-12A-1. Fatality Review Team.
_____(a) A fatality review team is created under the Office of the
Chief Medical Examiner.
The fatality review team combines the
Maternal Mortality Review Team, the Domestic Violence Fatality
Review Team and the Child Fatality Review Team.
review team is a multidisciplinary team created to examine, review
and analyze the deaths of all persons in West Virginia who die as
a result of unintentional prescription or pharmaceutical drug
overdoses; the deaths of children under the age of eighteen years;
the deaths resulting from suspected domestic violence; and the
deaths of all infants and of all women who die during pregnancy, at
the time of birth or within one year of the birth of a child.
_____(b) The fatality review team shall consist of the following:
_____(1) The Chief Medical Examiner in the Bureau for Public Health or his or her designee, who is to serve as the chairperson and who
is responsible for calling and coordinating all meetings;
_____(2) The Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health or his or
_____(3) The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police or
his or her designee; and
_____(4) A prosecuting attorney or his or her designee, as
appointed by the Governor.
_____(c) Each member serve for a term of three years, unless
otherwise reappointed to a second or subsequent term. Members
shall continue to serve until their respective terms expire or
until their successors have been appointed.
_____(d) Each member shall serve without additional compensation
and may not be reimbursed for any expenses incurred in the
discharge of his or her duties under the provisions of this
§61-12A-2. Responsibilities of the Fatality Review Team.
_____(a) The Fatality Review Team shall:
_____(1) Review and analyze all deaths as required by this article;
_____(2) Ascertain and document the trends, patterns and risk
_____(3) Provide statistical information and analysis regarding the
causes of certain fatalities.
_____(b) During the review process, the team may include any
additional persons with expertise or knowledge in a particular
field that it determines is needed in the review and consideration of a particular case as a result of a death in subsection (a) of
_____(c) The fatality review team, in the exercise of its duties as
defined in this section, may not:
_____(1) Call witnesses or take testimony from individuals involved
in the investigation of a fatality;
_____(2) Contact a family member of the deceased;
_____(3) Enforce any public health standard or criminal law or
otherwise participate in any legal proceeding; or
_____(4) Otherwise take any action which, in the determination of
a prosecuting attorney or his or her assistants, impairs the
ability of the prosecuting attorney, his or her assistants or any
law-enforcement officer to perform his or her statutory duties.
_____(d) The fatality review team shall submit an annual report to
the Governor and to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health
and Human Resources Accountability concerning its activities within
the state. The report is due annually on December 1. The report is
to include statistical information concerning cases reviewed during
the year, trends and patterns concerning these cases and the team's
recommendations to reduce the number of unintentional
pharmaceutical drug overdose fatalities in the state.
§61-12A-3. Access to information; other agencies of government
required to cooperate.
_____(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, the fatality review team may request information and
records as necessary to carry out its responsibilities. Records and information that may be requested under this section include:
_____(1) Medical, dental and mental health records;
_____(2) Substance abuse records to the extent allowed by federal
_____(3) Information and records maintained by any state, county
and local government agency, except as provided in subsection (c),
section two of this article.
_____(b) State, county and local government agencies shall provide
the fatality review team with any information requested in writing
by the team.
_____(a) Proceedings, records and opinions of the fatality review
team are confidential and are not subject to discovery, subpoena or
introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding.
This section does not limit or restrict the right to discover or
use in any civil or criminal proceeding anything that is available
from another source and entirely independent of the proceedings of
the fatality review team.
_____(b) Members of the fatality review team may not be questioned
in any civil or criminal proceeding regarding information presented
in or opinions formed as a result of a meeting of the team. This
subsection does not prevent a member of the fatality review team
from testifying to information obtained independently of the team
or which is public information.
_____(c) Proceedings, records and opinions of the fatality review
team are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, as provided in chapter twenty-nine-b of this code.
_____The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, in consultation with
the fatality review team, shall propose rules for legislative
approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of
this code. Those rules shall include, at a minimum:
_____(1) The standard procedures for the conduct of the fatality
_____(2) The processes and protocols for the review and analysis of
fatalities of those who were not suffering from mortal diseases
shortly before death;
_____(3) The processes and protocols to ensure confidentiality of
records obtained by the fatality review team; and
_____(4) Other rules as may be deemed necessary to effectuate the
purposes of this article.