§ 40-11-6. Report by physicians and healthcare providers of abuse or neglect.
(a) When any physician, duly certified registered nurse practitioner, or other healthcare provider is involved in the delivery or care of infants born with, or identified as being affected by, substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or has cause to suspect that a child brought to him or her, or coming to him or her, for examination, care, or treatment, is an abused or neglected child as defined in this chapter, or when he or she determines that a child under the age of twelve (12) years is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease, he or she shall report the incident or cause a report thereof to be made to the department as provided in subsection (b).
(b) An immediate oral report shall be made by telephone or otherwise, to both the department and law enforcement agency, and shall be followed by a report, in writing, to the department and law enforcement agency explaining the extent and nature of the abuse or neglect the child is alleged to have suffered.
(c) The department, upon receipt of such a report by a person other than a physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner alleging that a child has been physically abused, shall investigate the report, and if the investigation reveals evidence of injury or that the child has been the victim of sexual abuse, the department shall have the child examined by a licensed physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner. Any child protective investigator shall, with or without the consent of the parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare, have the right to remove the child from the place where the child may be to secure the examination required by this subsection. Upon completion of the examination, it shall be mandatory for the physician or duly certified registered nurse practitioner to make a written report of his or her findings to the department.
(d) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 91, § 2; P.L. 1984, ch. 257, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 371, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 245, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 17, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 386, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 424, § 1.)