Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

03/06/2006 01:30 PM HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 109 SCREENING NEWBORN FOR HEARING/AUDIOLOGIST TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 109(FIN) Out of Committee
*+ SB 8 NURSE EDUC LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 184 MENTAL HEALTH PATIENT RIGHTS:STAFF GENDER TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
        SB 184-MENTAL HEALTH PATIENT RIGHTS:STAFF GENDER                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced SB 184 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:14:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON clarified  that the committee was using  version F as                                                               
the working document.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD BENAVIDES, Staff to Senator  Davis, described the changes                                                               
made  within  the  sponsor  substitute. He  said  the  title  was                                                               
changed  from "Hospital's  Duty  to Provide  Same  Sex Staff"  to                                                               
"Right to  Choose the  Sex of  Hospital Staff  Providing Intimate                                                               
Care."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Benavides added  that the phrase "same sex staff"  on line 6,                                                               
page 1 of  SB 184 was changed  to "right to select  staff" in the                                                               
sponsor  substitute.  The  sponsor  substitute  also  includes  a                                                               
provision on  page 2 requiring  documentation of any  incident in                                                               
which a patient was assigned a  care provider opposite of the sex                                                               
that was requested.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A provision was  also added on line 19 of  the sponsor substitute                                                               
that  exempts a  hospital  from  compliance with  the  bill if  a                                                               
psychiatrist  determines that  compliance would  adversely affect                                                               
the  treatment of  the patient.  The psychiatrist  would have  to                                                               
document the decision.  He  advised the committee that there were                                                               
a few other minor things  inadvertently removed from the original                                                               
bill that were included back into the sponsor substitute.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:17:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREA SCHMOOK,  Co-chair, Alaska Mental Health  Board, testified                                                               
in  support  SB  184.  She  said  that  an  investigative  report                                                               
conducted  in  the  mid  1990s revealed  that  the  condition  of                                                               
several children  seeking psychiatric treatment for  sexual abuse                                                               
was  made  significantly  worse  after  they  were  subjected  to                                                               
restraint by medical staff of the opposite sex.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:20:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DORRANCE COLLINS,  Mental Health  Advocate, testified  in support                                                               
SB  184.    He  said  that  many  of  the  major  patient  rights                                                               
organizations across the nation  support similar legislation.  He                                                               
remarked that  the Disability  Law Center  has issued  an opinion                                                               
saying that patients have a legal right to gender choice.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:22:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RON ADLER, CEO, Alaska Psychiatric  Institute (API), DHSS, stated                                                               
that the  Department opposes SB 184.   He said API  believes that                                                               
such  issues are  best resolved  in policy  and procedure  rather                                                               
than legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He  said that  DHSS and  the Department  of Law  (DOL) would  not                                                               
support  any  legislation that  mandates  the  inclusion of  non-                                                               
medical information in a patient's  medical record.  He said that                                                               
such  a  requirement  provides  a  clear  pathway  for  potential                                                               
litigants to sue for non-adherence to a non-clinical issue.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR DAVIS asked  the witness to give her  a written statement                                                               
of his testimony.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON held the bill in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Dyson adjourned the meeting at 3:25:03 PM.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                

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