Code of Alabama § 26-14-7.2 - Child Denied Medical Treatment Due to Parents' Religious Beliefs

Section 26-14-7.2

Child denied medical treatment due to parents' religious beliefs.

(a) When an investigation of child abuse or neglect by the Department of Human Resources determines that a parent or legal guardian legitimately practicing his or her religious beliefs has not provided specific medical treatment for a child, the parent or legal guardian shall not be considered a negligent parent or guardian for that reason alone. This exception shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical services be provided to the child when the child's health requires it.

(b) The department may, in any case, pursue any legal remedies, including the initiation of legal proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, as may be necessary to provide medical care or treatment for a child when the care or treatment is necessary to prevent or remedy serious harm to the child, or to prevent the withholding of medically indicated treatments from infants with disabilities and with life-threatening conditions. Upon application by the department, the court may issue prelitigation or pretrial discovery orders for persons, medical records, and other documents or materials.

(Acts 1993, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 93-890, p. 162, §4; Act 98-371, p. 673, §1.)

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Last modified: November 15, 2016