Arkansas Code Title 20. Public Health and Welfare § 20-16-507. Pregnant women--Examination requirements

(a)(1)(A) Every physician and healthcare provider attending pregnant women in this state for conditions relating to their pregnancy shall, in the case of every woman so attended, take or cause to be taken a sample of venous blood or other approved specimen of the woman as early as reasonably possible in the pregnancy or, if not attended prenatally, at the time of delivery, and shall submit the sample to an approved laboratory for:

(i) A standard serological test for syphilis;

(ii) A standard test for human immunodeficiency virus; and

(iii) A standard test for Hepatitis B.

(B) If for any reason the pregnant woman is not tested for syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus, or Hepatitis B, that fact shall be recorded in the patient's records, which, if based upon the refusal of the patient, shall relieve the physician of any responsibility under this subsection.

(2) Every other person authorized by law to attend or to provide medical treatment to pregnant women in this state but not permitted by law to take blood samples shall cause a sample of blood or other approved specimen of the pregnant woman to be taken as early as reasonably possible in the pregnancy or, if not attended prenatally, at the time of delivery, by or under the direction of a physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery and have the sample submitted to an approved laboratory for:

(A) A standard serological test for syphilis;

(B) A standard test for human immunodeficiency virus;  and

(C) A standard test for Hepatitis B.

(3) Every physician described in subdivision (a)(1) of this section and every person described in subdivision (a)(2) of this section shall:

(A) Inform each pregnant woman whom he or she is attending of the fact that syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus, and Hepatitis B may be transmitted from an infected mother to the fetus or unborn child and that these infections may be prevented if the maternal infection is recognized and treated;  and

(B) Provide counseling and instruction for human immunodeficiency virus in a manner prescribed by the Department of Health based upon contemporary state and federal standards.

(b) For the purpose of this section, a standard serological test shall be a test for syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus, and Hepatitis B, approved or authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and shall be made at the department's laboratory or at another laboratory approved to make such tests.

(c) All records, reports, data, or other information collected or maintained under this section that identifies or could be used to identify any individual patient, provider, or institution shall be confidential, shall not be subject to discovery pursuant to the Arkansas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq.  However, this subsection shall not affect the reports required to be submitted to the department under other laws and rules and regulations.


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