Connecticut General Statutes Title 19A. Public Health and Well-Being § 19a-582. General consent required for HIV-related testing. Counseling requirements. Exceptions

(a) Except as required pursuant to section 19a-586 , a person who has provided general consent as described in this section for the performance of medical procedures and tests is not required to also sign or be presented with a specific informed consent form relating to medical procedures or tests to determine human immunodeficiency virus infection or antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus.  General consent shall include instruction to the patient that:  (1) As part of the medical procedures or tests, the patient may be tested for human immunodeficiency virus, and (2) such testing is voluntary and that the patient can choose not to be tested for human immunodeficiency virus or antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus.  General consent that includes HIV-related testing shall be obtained without undue inducement or any element of compulsion, fraud, deceit, duress or other form of constraint or coercion.  If a patient declines an HIV-related test, such decision by the patient shall be documented in the medical record.  The consent of a parent or guardian shall not be a prerequisite to testing of a minor.  The laboratory shall report the test result to the person who orders the performance of the test.

(b) A person ordering the performance of an HIV-related test shall not be held liable for ordering a test without specific informed consent if a good faith effort is made to convey the instruction required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c) At the time of communicating the test result to the subject of the test, a person ordering the performance of an HIV-related test shall provide the subject of the test or the person authorized to consent to health care for the subject with counseling or referrals for counseling, as needed:  (1) To inform such person of available medical treatments and medical services;  (2) regarding local or community-based HIV/AIDS support services agencies;  (3) to work towards the goal of involving a minor's parents or legal guardian in the decision to seek and in the ongoing provision of medical treatment;  and (4) regarding the need of the test subject to notify his partners and, as appropriate, provide assistance or referrals for assistance in notifying partners;  except that if the subject of the test is a minor who was tested without the consent of his parents or guardian, such counseling shall be provided to such minor at the time of communicating such test result to such minor.  A health care provider or health facility shall not withhold test results from the protected individual.

(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the performance of an HIV-related test:

(1) By licensed medical personnel when the subject is unable to grant or withhold consent and no other person is available who is authorized to consent to health care for the individual and the test results are needed for diagnostic purposes to provide appropriate urgent care, except that in such cases the counseling, referrals and notification of test results described in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided as soon as practical;

(2) By a health care provider or health facility in relation to the procuring, processing, distributing or use of a human body or a human body part, including organs, tissues, eyes, bones, arteries, blood, semen, or other body fluids, for use in medical research or therapy, or for transplantation to individuals, provided if the test results are communicated to the subject, the counseling, referrals and notification of test results described in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided;

(3) For the purpose of research if the testing is performed in a manner by which the identity of the test subject is not known and is unable to be retrieved by the researcher;

(4) On a deceased person when such test is conducted to determine the cause or circumstances of death or for epidemiological purposes;

(5) In cases where a health care provider or other person, including volunteer emergency medical services, fire and public safety personnel, in the course of his or her occupational duties has had a significant exposure, provided the following criteria are met:  (A) The worker is able to document significant exposure during performance of his or her occupation, (B) the worker completes an incident report within forty-eight hours of exposure identifying the parties to the exposure, witnesses, time, place and nature of the event, (C) the worker submits to a baseline HIV test within seventy-two hours of the exposure and is negative on that test, (D) the patient's or person's physician or advanced practice registered nurse or, if the patient or person does not have a personal physician or advanced practice registered nurse or if the patient's or person's physician or advanced practice registered nurse is unavailable, another physician, advanced practice registered nurse or health care provider has approached the patient or person and sought voluntary consent and the patient or person has refused to consent to testing, except in an exposure where the patient or person is deceased, (E) an exposure evaluation group determines that the criteria specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), (D) and (F) of this subdivision are met and that the worker has a significant exposure to the blood of a patient or person and the patient or person, or the patient's or person's legal guardian, refuses to grant informed consent for an HIV test.  If the patient or person is under the care or custody of the health facility, correctional facility or other institution and a sample of the patient's blood is available, said blood shall be tested.  If no sample of blood is available, and the patient is under the care or custody of a health facility, correctional facility or other institution, the patient shall have a blood sample drawn at the health facility, correctional facility or other institution and tested.  No member of the exposure evaluation group who determines that a worker has sustained a significant exposure and authorized the HIV testing of a patient or other person, nor the health facility, correctional facility or other institution, nor any person in a health facility or other institution who relies in good faith on the group's determination and performs that test shall have any liability as a result of his or her action carried out pursuant to this section, unless such person acted in bad faith.  If the patient or person is not under the care or custody of a health facility, correctional facility or other institution and a physician or an advanced practice registered nurse not directly involved in the exposure certifies in writing that the criteria specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), (D) and (F) of this subdivision are met and that a significant exposure has occurred, the worker may seek a court order for testing pursuant to subdivision (8) of this subsection, (F) the worker would be able to take meaningful immediate action, if results are known that could not otherwise be taken, as defined in regulations adopted pursuant to section 19a-589, (G) the fact that an HIV test was given as a result of an accidental exposure and the results of that test shall not appear in a patient's or person's medical record unless such test result is relevant to the medical care the person is receiving at that time in a health facility or correctional facility or other institution, (H) the counseling described in subsection (c) of this section shall be provided but the patient or person may choose not to be informed about the result of the test, and (I) the cost of the HIV test shall be borne by the employer of the potentially exposed worker;

(6) In facilities operated by the Department of Correction if the facility physician or advanced practice registered nurse determines that testing is needed for diagnostic purposes, to determine the need for treatment or medical care specific to an HIV-related illness, including prophylactic treatment of HIV infection to prevent further progression of disease, provided no reasonable alternative exists that will achieve the same goal;

(7) In facilities operated by the Department of Correction if the facility physician or advanced practice registered nurse and chief administrator of the facility determine that the behavior of the inmate poses a significant risk of transmission to another inmate or has resulted in a significant exposure of another inmate of the facility and no reasonable alternative exists that will achieve the same goal.  No involuntary testing shall take place pursuant to this subdivision and subdivision (6) of this subsection until reasonable effort has been made to secure informed consent.  When testing without consent takes place pursuant to this subdivision and subdivision (6) of this subsection, the counseling referrals and notification of test results described in subsection (c) of this section shall, nonetheless, be provided;

(8) Under a court order that is issued in compliance with the following provisions:  (A) No court of this state shall issue such order unless the court finds a clear and imminent danger to the public health or the health of a person and that the person has demonstrated a compelling need for the HIV-related test result that cannot be accommodated by other means.  In assessing compelling need, the court shall weigh the need for a test result against the privacy interests of the test subject and the public interest that may be disserved by involuntary testing, (B) pleadings pertaining to the request for an involuntary test shall substitute a pseudonym for the true name of the subject to be tested.  The disclosure to the parties of the subject's true name shall be communicated confidentially, in documents not filed with the court, (C) before granting any such order, the court shall provide the individual on whom a test result is being sought with notice and a reasonable opportunity to participate in the proceeding if he or she is not already a party, (D) court proceedings as to involuntary testing shall be conducted in camera unless the subject of the test agrees to a hearing in open court or unless the court determines that a public hearing is necessary to the public interest and the proper administration of justice;

(9) When the test is conducted by any life or health insurer or health care center for purposes of assessing a person's fitness for insurance coverage offered by such insurer or health care center;  or

(10) When the test is subsequent to a prior confirmed test and the subsequent test is part of a series of repeated testing for the purposes of medical monitoring and treatment, provided (A) the patient has previously given general consent that includes HIV-related tests, (B) the patient, after consultation with the health care provider, has declined reiteration of the general consent, counseling and education requirements of this section, and (C) a notation to that effect has been entered into the patient's medical record.


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