2006 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative Holland
AN ACT TO CREATE THE CHILD DEATH REVIEW PANEL, WHOSE PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO FOSTER THE REDUCTION OF INFANT AND CHILD MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY IN MISSISSIPPI AND TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH STATUS OF INFANTS AND CHILDREN; TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVIEW PANEL SHALL BE ASSIGNED TO THE STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVIEW PANEL SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT ANNUALLY TO THE LEGISLATURE, WHICH SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION ON CHILD AND INFANT DEATHS IN MISSISSIPPI AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOW TO MOST EFFECTIVELY DIRECT STATE RESOURCES TO DECREASE INFANT AND CHILD DEATHS IN MISSISSIPPI; TO PROVIDE THAT DATA FOR THE REVIEW PANEL’S REVIEW AND REPORTING SHALL BE SUPPLIED BY THE STATE MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Whereas, the protection of the health and welfare of the children of Mississippi is a goal of its people, and the high number of unexpected deaths of infants and children under age 18 is an important public health concern that requires legislative action; and
Whereas collecting data on the causes of unexpected deaths will better enable the state to protect infants and children from preventable deaths and will help reduce the incidents of those deaths; and
Whereas, multidisciplinary reviews of child deaths can assist the state in the investigation of child deaths, in the development of a greater understanding of the incidence and causes of child deaths, and in identifying gaps in services to children and families: NOW THEREFORE,
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is created the Child Death Review Panel, whose primary purpose is to foster the reduction of infant and child mortality and morbidity in Mississippi and to improve the health status of infants and children.
(2) The Child Death Review Panel shall be composed of 13 voting members: the State Medical Examiner or his representative, a pathologist on staff at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and one representative from each of the following: the State Coroners Association, the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Office of Vital Statistics in the State Department of Health, the Attorney General’s Office, the State Sheriff’s Association, the Mississippi Police Chiefs Association, the Department of Human Services, the Children’s Advocacy Center, the state chapter of the March of Dimes, the state SIDS Alliance, and Compassionate Friends.
(3) The chairman of the Child Death Review Panel shall be elected annually by the Review Panel membership. The Review Panel shall develop and implement such procedures and policies necessary for its operation, including obtaining and protecting confidential records. The Review Panel shall be assigned to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for administrative purposes only, and the Medical Examiner shall designate staff to assist the Review Panel.
(4) The Child Death Review Panel shall submit a report annually to the Chairmen of the House Public Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on or before December 1. The report shall include the numbers, causes and relevant demographic information on child and infant deaths in Mississippi, and appropriate recommendations to the Legislature on how to most effectively direct state resources to decrease infant and child deaths in Mississippi. Data for the Review Panel’s review and reporting shall be supplied by the State Medical Examiner’s Office. This office shall also be responsible for printing and distributing the annual report(s) on child and infant deaths in Mississippi.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.