2010 Florida Statutes
Medical screening and treatment of child; examination of parent, guardian, or person requesting custody.
Medical screening and treatment of child; examination of parent, guardian, or person requesting custody.—
When any child is to be placed in shelter care, the department is authorized to have a medical screening performed on the child without authorization from the court and without consent from a parent or guardian. Such medical screening shall be performed by a licensed health care professional and shall be to examine the child for injury, illness, and communicable diseases. In no case does this subsection authorize the department to consent to medical treatment for such children.
When the department has performed the medical screening authorized by subsection (1) or when it is otherwise determined by a licensed health care professional that a child is in need of medical treatment, consent for medical treatment shall be obtained in the following manner:
Consent to medical treatment shall be obtained from a parent or guardian of the child; or
A court order for such treatment shall be obtained.
If a parent or guardian 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 or its provider has the authority to consent to necessary medical treatment for the child. The authority of the department to consent to medical treatment in this circumstance is limited to the time reasonably necessary to obtain court authorization.
If a parent or guardian of the child is available but refuses to consent to the necessary treatment, a court order is required, unless the situation meets the definition of an emergency in s. 743.064 or the treatment needed is related to suspected abuse or neglect of the child by the parent or guardian. In such case, the department has the authority to consent to necessary medical treatment. This authority is limited to the time reasonably necessary to obtain court authorization.
In no case may the department consent to sterilization, abortion, or termination of life support.
A judge may order that a child alleged to be or adjudicated a child in need of services be examined by a licensed health care professional. The judge may also order such child to be evaluated by a psychiatrist or a psychologist, by a district school board educational needs assessment team, or, if a developmental disability is suspected or alleged, by the developmental disability diagnostic and evaluation team of the Department of Children and Family Services. The judge may order a family assessment if that assessment was not completed at an earlier time. If it is necessary to place a child in a residential facility for such evaluation, then the criteria and procedure established in s. 394.463(2) or chapter 393 shall be used, whichever is applicable. The educational needs assessment provided by the district school board educational needs assessment team shall include, but not be limited to, reports of intelligence and achievement tests, screening for learning disabilities and other handicaps, and screening for the need for alternative education pursuant to s. 1003.53.
A judge may order that a child alleged to be or adjudicated a child in need of services be treated by a licensed health care professional. The judge may also order such child to receive mental health or retardation services from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other appropriate service provider. If it is necessary to place the child in a residential facility for such services, then the procedures and criteria established in s. 394.467 or chapter 393 shall be used, whichever is applicable. A child may be provided mental health or retardation services in emergency situations, pursuant to the procedures and criteria contained in s. 394.463(1) or chapter 393, whichever is applicable.
When there are indications of physical injury or illness, a licensed health care professional shall be immediately called or the child shall be taken to the nearest available hospital for emergency care.
Except as otherwise provided herein, nothing in this section shall be deemed to eliminate the right of a parent, a guardian, or the child to consent to examination or treatment for the child.
Except as otherwise provided herein, nothing in this section shall be deemed to alter the provisions of s. 743.064.
A court shall not be precluded from ordering services or treatment to be provided to the child by a duly accredited practitioner who relies solely on spiritual means for healing in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious organization, when required by the child’s health and when requested by the child.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the permanent sterilization of the child, unless such sterilization is the result of or incidental to medically necessary treatment to protect or preserve the life of the child.
For the purpose of obtaining an evaluation or examination or receiving treatment as authorized pursuant to this section, no child alleged to be or found to be a child from a family in need of services or a child in need of services shall be placed in a detention facility or other program used primarily for the care and custody of children alleged or found to have committed delinquent acts.
The parents or guardian of a child alleged to be or adjudicated a child in need of services remain financially responsible for the cost of medical treatment provided to the child even if one or both of the parents or if the guardian did not consent to the medical treatment. After a hearing, the court may order the parents or guardian, if found able to do so, to reimburse the department or other provider of medical services for treatment provided.
Nothing in this section alters the authority of the department to consent to medical treatment for a child who has been committed to the department pursuant to s. 984.22(3) and of whom the department has become the legal custodian.
At any time after the filing of a petition for a child in need of services, when the mental or physical condition, including the blood group, of a parent, guardian, or other person requesting custody of a child is in controversy, the court may order the person to submit to a physical or mental examination by a qualified professional. The order may be made only upon good cause shown and pursuant to notice and procedures as set forth by the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure.
s. 8, ch. 87-133; s. 237, ch. 95-147; s. 30, ch. 96-398; s. 170, ch. 97-101; s. 105, ch. 97-238; s. 1049, ch. 2002-387; s. 164, ch. 2007-5.
Former s. 39.439; s. 39.446.