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December 16, 2017
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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title V
JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 39
PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN
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F.S. 39.304
39.304 Photographs, medical examinations, X rays, and medical treatment of abused, abandoned, or neglected child.
(1)(a) Any person required to investigate cases of suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect may take or cause to be taken photographs of the areas of trauma visible on a child who is the subject of a report. Any child protection team that examines a child who is the subject of a report must take, or cause to be taken, photographs of any areas of trauma visible on the child. Photographs of physical abuse injuries, or duplicates thereof, shall be provided to the department for inclusion in the investigative file and shall become part of that file. Photographs of sexual abuse trauma shall be made part of the child protection team medical record.
(b) If the areas of trauma visible on a child indicate a need for a medical examination, or if the child verbally complains or otherwise exhibits distress as a result of injury through suspected child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or is alleged to have been sexually abused, the person required to investigate may cause the child to be referred for diagnosis to a licensed physician or an emergency department in a hospital without the consent of the child’s parents or legal custodian. Such examination may be performed by any licensed physician or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed pursuant to part I of chapter 464. Any licensed physician, or advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed pursuant to part I of chapter 464, who has reasonable cause to suspect that an injury was the result of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect may authorize a radiological examination to be performed on the child without the consent of the child’s parent or legal custodian.
(2) Consent for any medical treatment shall be obtained in the following manner.
(a)1. Consent to medical treatment shall be obtained from a parent or legal custodian of the child; or
2. A court order for such treatment shall be obtained.
(b) If a parent or legal custodian of the child is unavailable and his or her whereabouts cannot be reasonably ascertained, and it is after normal working hours so that a court order cannot reasonably be obtained, an authorized agent of the department shall have the authority to consent to necessary medical treatment for the child. The authority of the department to consent to medical treatment in this circumstance shall be limited to the time reasonably necessary to obtain court authorization.
(c) If a parent or legal custodian of the child is available but refuses to consent to the necessary treatment, a court order shall be required unless the situation meets the definition of an emergency in s. 743.064 or the treatment needed is related to suspected abuse, abandonment, or neglect of the child by a parent or legal custodian. In such case, the department shall have the authority to consent to necessary medical treatment. This authority is limited to the time reasonably necessary to obtain court authorization.

In no case shall the department consent to sterilization, abortion, or termination of life support.

(3) Any facility licensed under chapter 395 shall provide to the department, its agent, or a child protection team that contracts with the department any photograph or report on examinations made or X rays taken pursuant to this section, or copies thereof, for the purpose of investigation or assessment of cases of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or exploitation of children.
(4) Any photograph or report on examinations made or X rays taken pursuant to this section, or copies thereof, shall be sent to the department as soon as possible and shall be preserved in permanent form in records held by the department.
(5) The county in which the child is a resident shall bear the initial costs of the examination of the allegedly abused, abandoned, or neglected child; however, the parents or legal custodian of the child shall be required to reimburse the county for the costs of such examination, other than an initial forensic physical examination as provided in s. 960.28, and to reimburse the department for the cost of the photographs taken pursuant to this section. A medical provider may not bill a child victim, directly or indirectly, for the cost of an initial forensic physical examination.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 63-24; s. 941, ch. 71-136; ss. 1, 1A, ch. 71-97; s. 32, ch. 73-334; s. 65, ch. 74-383; s. 1, ch. 75-101; s. 1, ch. 75-185; s. 4, ch. 76-237; s. 1, ch. 77-77; s. 3, ch. 77-429; ss. 1, 2, ch. 78-322; s. 3, ch. 78-326; s. 22, ch. 78-361; s. 1, ch. 78-379; s. 181, ch. 79-164; s. 1, ch. 79-203; s. 75, ch. 86-220; s. 24, ch. 88-337; s. 35, ch. 89-294; s. 2, ch. 95-185; s. 133, ch. 97-101; s. 71, ch. 97-103; s. 42, ch. 98-403; s. 10, ch. 99-168; s. 17, ch. 99-193; s. 6, ch. 2000-217; s. 83, ch. 2000-318; s. 6, ch. 2009-43.
Note.Former ss. 828.041, 827.07(5); s. 415.507.