(a) Any health practitioner employed in any health facility, clinic, physician’s office, local or state public health department, or a clinic or other type of facility operated by a local or state public health department who, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, performs a forensic medical examination on any person in the custody of law enforcement from whom evidence is sought in connection with the commission or investigation of a crime of sexual assault, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 11160, shall prepare a written report. The report shall be on a standard form developed by, or at the direction of, the Office of Emergency Services, and shall be immediately provided to the law enforcement agency who has custody of the individual examined.
(b) The examination and report is subject to the confidentiality requirements of the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 56) of Part 2.6 of Division 1 of the Civil Code), the physician-patient privilege pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 990) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code, and the privilege of official information pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 1040) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Evidence Code.
(c) The report shall be released upon request, oral or written, to any person or agency involved in any related investigation or prosecution of a criminal case, including, but not limited to, a law enforcement officer, district attorney, city attorney, crime laboratory, county licensing agency, or coroner. The report may be released to defense counsel or another third party only through discovery of documents in the possession of a prosecuting agency or following the issuance of a lawful court order authorizing the release of the report.
(d) A health practitioner who makes a report in accordance with this section shall not incur civil or criminal liability. No person, agency, or their designee required or authorized to report pursuant to this section who takes photographs of a person suspected of being a person subject to a forensic medical examination as described in this section shall incur any civil or criminal liability for taking the photographs, causing the photographs to be taken, or disseminating the photographs to a law enforcement officer, district attorney, city attorney, crime laboratory, county licensing agency, or coroner with the reports required in accordance with this section. However, this subdivision shall not be deemed to grant immunity from civil or criminal liability with respect to any other use of the photographs.
(e) Section 11162 does not apply to this section.
(f) With the exception of any health practitioner who has entered into a contractual agreement to perform forensic medical examinations, no health practitioner shall be required to perform a forensic medical examination as part of his or her duties as a health practitioner.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 419. (AB 1317) Effective September 26, 2013. Operative July 1, 2013, by Sec. 543 of Ch. 352.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018