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Wash. Rev. Code § 70.05.170

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Child mortality review

The Washington legislature intends to encourage the performance of child mortality reviews in an effort to address the “unacceptably high” rate of death among children less than 18 years old.

Authorized local health departments may conduct mortality reviews in compliance with the following rules:

  •         Information obtained pursuant to a child mortality rule is confidential and may only be used for purposes of conducting the review. Such information may only be disclosed in compliance with the medical record access laws contained in chapter 70.02.
  •         The disclosure of information that will identify the deceased child, their guardians, or any other individual interviewed during the review is prohibited. Health departments must redact such identifying information from any records they produce.
  •         Witness statements, documents, or summaries of witness statements or documents may not be disclosed publicly, discovered, subpoenaed, or introduced into evidence in any proceeding that arises from a child’s death. However, records regarding a child’s death may be discovered and introduced into evidence if they were produced by a health care provider in the normal course a business even if the health provider shared these records with the department conducting a child mortality rule.
  •         Health department officials and employees may not testify about their participation in a child mortality review in any type of proceeding.
  •         These rules do not prohibit persons from reporting child abuse nor do they limit access to information needed to address the abuse of children as provided in chapter 26.44.

The department of health must help local health departments collect child mortality review reports and enter child mortality review information into a database. The department must permit access to the database in accordance with chapter 70.02. The department must also provide technical assistance to local health departments and facilitate coordination among review teams.

The department may publish “statistical complications and reports” containing information from child mortality reviews so long as they redact identifying information.

Current as of June 2015