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March 15, 2005

Senate Bill 83: Supports a Parent or Guardian's Right to Make Medical Decisions

Author:
Senator Thomas

Summary:
This bill modifies provisions of the Utah Criminal Code and the Judicial Code regarding child abuse and neglect. Specifically, it has two provisions:

  • A health care decision made by a child's parent or guardian does not constitute neglect unless the state or other party to the proceeding shows, by clear and convincing evidence, that the decision is not reasonable and prudent.

  • A parent or guardian has the right to a second medical opinion.

    Status:

    12/16/2004Numbered
    01/17/2005(S) Senate/ to standing Senate Health and Human Services Committee
    01/17/2005(S) Senate/ read 1st (introduced)
    01/19/2005(S) Senate Health and Human Services Committee - favorable recommendation
    01/20/2005(S) Senate 2nd reading calendar report favorable
    01/24/2005(S) Senate/ Floor amendment
    01/24/2005(S) Senate/ Pass 2nd
    01/25/2005(S) Senate/ Pass 3rd
    01/25/2005(S) Senate/ To House with amendments
    02/07/2005(H) House Health and Human Services Committee - favorable recommendation
    02/08/2005(H) House/ Read 2nd time
    02/09/2005(H) House/ Read 3rd time, passed 3rd reading
    02/09/2005(S) Senate/ Received from House
    03/11/2005Governor signed

    Action Requested:
    None at this time.

    HSLDA's Position:
    Support. This bill clearly states, "The Legislature recognizes that parents have a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody, and management of their children, as protected by the 14th Amendment." This bill makes sure that judges know the standard for child neglect proceedings is the high evidentiary standard of "clear and convincing evidence," and does not allow the social worker to overrule the parent's decision unless the parent's decision is not reasonable or prudent, as proven by this high standard.

     Other Resources

    Bill Text

    Bill History