2006 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) White
AN ACT ENTITLED THE HUMAN EMBRYO PROTECTION ACT; TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL FOR ANY LICENSED HEALTH CARE FACILITY, ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY MEDICAL FACILITY OR ANY EMPLOYEE OF SUCH FACILITY TO CREATE BY IN VITRO FERTILIZATION MORE THAN FOUR HUMAN EMBRYOS PER CYCLE OR FAIL TO TRANSFER INTO A WOMAN'S UTERUS THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HUMAN EMBRYOS CREATED BY IN VITRO FERTILIZATION; TO PRESCRIBE CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 73-25-29, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MAKE VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BY A PHYSICIAN FOR LICENSURE PURPOSES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act may be known as the "Human Embryo Protection Act."
SECTION 2. The Legislature of the State of Mississippi finds that:
(a) Human embryos are human beings from the earliest stages of life;
(b) Many health care facilities that offer Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) procedures offer the medical treatment In Vitro Fertilization, commonly known as IVF;
(c) IVF involves the creation of human embryos by combining a man's sperm and a woman's egg (oocyte) in a laboratory dish where fertilization occurs and then transferring the resulting human embryo into a woman's uterus to develop naturally to term;
(d) In many cases, IVF involves the creation of multiple human embryos, some of which are not subsequently transferred into a woman's uterus, but instead cryogenically preserved in the ART facilities' storage unit. Many of these frozen human embryos will be later discarded as medical waste or transferred to outside locations for medical experimentation resulting in the human embryo's destruction;
(e) The State of Mississippi has a compelling interest in providing protection for human beings at the earliest stages of life, including human embryos created by the IVF process;
(f) This compelling interest demands that Mississippi regulate the number of human embryos that can be created by IVF and left to languish in cold storage.
SECTION 3. It shall be unlawful for any Assisted Reproductive Technology medical facility, any licensed health care facility as defined in Section 41-7-173, or any employee of any such facility to:
(a) Create by In Vitro Fertilization more than four (4) human embryos per assisted reproductive cycle;
(b) Fail to transfer into a woman's uterus the total number of human embryos created by In Vitro Fertilization up to and including four (4) human embryos per assisted reproductive cycle.
SECTION 4. (1) Any person or entity that violates Section 3 of this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable, upon conviction, by a fine of not less than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) nor greater than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) and imprisonment for not more than one (1) year.
(2) Any violation of Section 3 of this act may be the basis for denying an application for, or denying the renewal of, or revoking any license, permit, certificate or any other form of permission required to practice or engage in any trade, profession or occupation.
SECTION 5. Section 73-25-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-29. The grounds for the nonissuance, suspension, revocation or restriction of a license or the denial of reinstatement or renewal of a license are:
(1) Habitual personal use of narcotic drugs, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability.
(2) Habitual use of intoxicating liquors, or any beverage, to an extent which affects professional competency.
(3) Administering, dispensing or prescribing any narcotic drug, or any other drug having addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability otherwise than in the course of legitimate professional practice.
(4) Conviction of violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution or use of any narcotic drug or any drug considered a controlled substance under state or federal law, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(5) Procuring, or attempting to procure, or aiding in, an abortion that is not medically indicated.
(6) Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, a certified copy of the conviction order or judgment rendered by the trial court being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(7) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license by fraud or deception.
(8) Unprofessional conduct, which includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Practicing medicine under a false or assumed name or impersonating another practitioner, living or dead.
(b) Knowingly performing any act which in any way assists an unlicensed person to practice medicine.
(c) Making or willfully causing to be made any flamboyant claims concerning the licensee's professional excellence.
(d) Being guilty of any dishonorable or unethical conduct likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.
(e) Obtaining a fee as personal compensation or gain from a person on fraudulent representation a disease or injury condition generally considered incurable by competent medical authority in the light of current scientific knowledge and practice can be cured or offering, undertaking, attempting or agreeing to cure or treat the same by a secret method, which he refuses to divulge to the board upon request.
(f) Use of any false, fraudulent or forged statement or document, or the use of any fraudulent, deceitful, dishonest or immoral practice in connection with any of the licensing requirements, including the signing in his professional capacity any certificate that is known to be false at the time he makes or signs such certificate.
(g) Failing to identify a physician's school of practice in all professional uses of his name by use of his earned degree or a description of his school of practice.
(h) Any violation of Section 3 of Senate Bill No. 2415, 2006 Regular Session, relating to violating human embryo In Vitro Fertilization limits and transfer limits.
(9) The refusal of a licensing authority of another state or jurisdiction to issue or renew a license, permit or certificate to practice medicine in that jurisdiction or the revocation, suspension or other restriction imposed on a license, permit or certificate issued by such licensing authority which prevents or restricts practice in that jurisdiction, a certified copy of the disciplinary order or action taken by the other state or jurisdiction being prima facie evidence thereof, notwithstanding the pendency of any appeal.
(10) Surrender of a license or authorization to practice medicine in another state or jurisdiction or surrender of membership on any medical staff or in any medical or professional association or society while under disciplinary investigation by any of those authorities or bodies for acts or conduct similar to acts or conduct which would constitute grounds for action as defined in this section.
(11) Final sanctions imposed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General or any successor federal agency or office, based upon a finding of incompetency, gross misconduct or failure to meet professionally recognized standards of health care; a certified copy of the notice of final sanction being prima facie evidence thereof. As used in this paragraph, the term "final sanction" means the written notice to a physician from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Officer of Inspector General or any successor federal agency or office, which implements the exclusion.
(12) Failure to furnish the board, its investigators or representatives information legally requested by the board.
(13) Violation of any provision(s) of the Medical Practice Act or the rules and regulations of the board or of any order, stipulation or agreement with the board.
In addition to the grounds specified above, the board shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act are severable, and if any provision, word, phrase or clause of the act or the application thereof to any person shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this act.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.