ASSEMBLY, No. 1393

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2022 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman ROBERT AUTH

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman DiMaio

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Establishes civil immunity for damages arising out of birth injury or congenital defect for physicians providing prenatal care under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.


An Act concerning civil immunity for physicians providing prenatal care and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1. A physician who provides prenatal care to a pregnant woman shall be immune from civil liability for damages resulting from the woman giving birth to a child having a birth injury or congenital defect, provided that all of the following requirements are met:

a. the skill and care provided in the course of prenatal treatment is that ordinarily required and exercised by those in the medical profession;

b. the woman, of her own volition, did not receive prenatal care from the physician during the final eight weeks of her pregnancy;

c. the physician advised the woman of the importance and benefits of receiving regular, ongoing prenatal care through the end of the pregnancy; and

d. either:

(1) the signs, symptoms, or other indicia of the birth injury or congenital defect were not reasonably detectable in the ordinary course of the prenatal care the woman received from the physician up to the date of her last prenatal care visit with the physician; or

(2) the physician detected signs, symptoms, or other indicia of a potential birth injury or congenital defect and, based on the best available information, advised the woman as to:

(a) the likelihood that the fetus would be born with a birth injury or congenital defect;

(b) the nature and consequences of the potential birth injury or congenital defect; and

(c) options with regard to medically significant prenatal and post-birth intervention, testing, or treatment appropriate to the medical condition of both the woman and the fetus or child, including the risks and benefits associated with each option, but not including experimental treatments not yet accepted by the medical establishment.

 

2. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to any birth which occurs on or after the effective date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill establishes civil immunity for damages arising out of a child being born with a birth injury or congenital defect for physicians who provide prenatal care to the mother, provided that certain conditions are met.

For civil immunity to apply, the bill would require that the skill and care provided in the course of prenatal treatment is that ordinarily required and exercised by those in the medical profession; the woman, of her own volition, did not receive prenatal care from the physician during the final eight weeks of her pregnancy; the physician advised the woman of the importance and benefits of receiving regular, ongoing prenatal care through the end of the pregnancy; and either: (1) the signs, symptoms, or other indicia of the birth injury or congenital defect were not reasonably detectable in the ordinary course of the prenatal care the woman received from the physician up to the date of her last prenatal care visit with the physician; or (2) the physician detected signs, symptoms, or other indicia of the potential birth injury or congenital defect and, based on the best available information, advised the woman as to:

 

        the likelihood that the fetus would be born with a birth injury or congenital defect;

        the nature and consequences of the potential birth injury or congenital defect; and

        options with regard to medically significant prenatal and post-birth intervention, testing, or treatment appropriate to the medical condition of both the woman and the fetus or child, including the risks and benefits associated with each option, but not including experimental treatments not yet accepted by the medical establishment.

 

This bill would take effect immediately and would apply to any birth occurring on or after the effective date.