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Mass. Gen. Laws. Ann. ch. 111, § 202 - Fetal deaths; reports; confidentiality; disposition of remains; violations; forms

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When a fetal death (defined as death occurring prior to extraction from mother, and does not breathe or show any evidence of life; it does not include abortion) occurs in or outside of a hospital, if it is more than 20 weeks gestational period, the doctor must submit a report to the hospital, which must send the report to the Commissioner of Public Health within 10 days of the death.  For fetal deaths that occur outside of the hospital, the doctor must submit a report directly to the Commissioner within 10 days of the death.  The Commission may compile a fetal death statistics report, and make the report available for research and public health purposes.  All fetal death reports must be confidential and can only be released at the patient’s or his or her representative’s request.    The Commissioner can release the reports to the National Center for Health Statistics to conduct research studies, as long as the reports do not identify the individual.  A physician who refuses to file a report on an instance of fetal death or makes a false statement may not be fined more than $50.

Current as of June 2015