2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Nunnelee
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 43-21-355 AND 41-21-97, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ADD LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS TO CERTAIN PROVISIONS PROVIDING IMMUNITY FOR THE GOOD FAITH REPORTING OF SUSPECTED CASES OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-21-355, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-21-355. Any attorney, physician, dentist, intern, resident, nurse, psychologist, social worker, child protection specialist, child care giver, minister, law enforcement officer, school attendance officer, public school district employee, nonpublic school employee, licensed professional counselor or any other person participating in the making of a required report pursuant to Section 43-21-353 or participating in the judicial proceeding resulting therefrom shall be presumed to be acting in good faith. Any person or institution reporting in good faith shall be immune from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.
SECTION 2. Section 41-21-97, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-21-97. The hospital records of and information pertaining to patients at treatment facilities or patients being treated by physicians, psychologists (as defined in Section 73-31-3(e)), licensed master social workers or licensed professional counselors shall be confidential and shall be released only: (a) upon written authorization of the patient; (b) upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction; (c) when necessary for the continued treatment of a patient; (d) when, in the opinion of the director, release is necessary for the determination of eligibility for benefits, compliance with statutory reporting requirements, or other lawful purpose; or (e) when the patient has communicated to the treating physician, psychologist (as defined in Section 73-31-3(e)), master social worker or licensed professional counselor an actual threat of physical violence against a clearly identified or reasonably identifiable potential victim or victims, and then the treating physician, psychologist (as defined in Section 73-31-3(e)), master social worker or licensed professional counselor may communicate the threat only to the potential victim or victims, a law enforcement agency, or the parent or guardian of a minor who is identified as a potential victim.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.