Bill Text: TX HB35 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue remains; imposing a civil penalty.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 40-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-04-17 - Reported favorably as substituted [HB35 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-HB35-Introduced.html
  85R13202 SCL-F
 
  By: Cook H.B. No. 35
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue remains;
  imposing a civil penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle B, Title 8, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Chapter 697 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 697. DISPOSITION OF EMBRYONIC AND FETAL TISSUE REMAINS
         Sec. 697.001.  PURPOSE. The purpose of this chapter is to
  express the state's profound respect for the life of the unborn by
  providing for a dignified final disposition of embryonic and fetal
  tissue remains.
         Sec. 697.002.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Cremation" means the irreversible process of
  reducing remains to ashes or bone fragments through extreme heat
  and evaporation.
               (2)  "Department" means the Department of State Health
  Services.
               (3)  "Embryonic and fetal tissue remains" means an
  embryo, a fetus, body parts, or organs from a pregnancy for which
  the issuance of a fetal death certificate is not required by law.
  The term does not include the umbilical cord, placenta, gestational
  sac, blood, or body fluids.
               (4)  "Executive commissioner" means the executive
  commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission.
               (5)  "Incineration" means the process of burning
  remains in an incinerator.
               (6)  "Interment" means the disposition of remains by
  entombment, burial, or placement in a niche.
               (7)  "Steam disinfection" means the act of subjecting
  remains to steam under pressure to disinfect the remains.
         Sec. 697.003.  APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAW. Embryonic and
  fetal tissue remains are not pathological waste. Unless otherwise
  provided by this chapter, Chapters 711 and 716 of this code and
  Chapter 651, Occupations Code, do not apply to the disposition of
  embryonic and fetal tissue remains.
         Sec. 697.004.  DISPOSITION OF EMBRYONIC AND FETAL TISSUE
  REMAINS. (a) A health care facility in this state that provides
  health or medical care to a pregnant woman shall dispose of
  embryonic and fetal tissue remains related to that care, regardless
  of the period of gestation or weight of the fetus by:
               (1)  interment;
               (2)  cremation;
               (3)  incineration followed by interment; or
               (4)  steam disinfection followed by interment.
         (b)  The ashes resulting from the cremation or incineration
  of embryonic and fetal tissue remains:
               (1)  may be interred or scattered in any manner as
  authorized by law for human remains; and
               (2)  may not be placed in a landfill.
         (c)  A health care facility responsible for disposing of
  embryonic and fetal tissue remains may coordinate with an entity in
  the registry established under Section 697.005 in an effort to
  offset the cost associated with burial or cremation of the
  embryonic and fetal tissue remains of an unborn child.
         Sec. 697.005.  BURIAL OR CREMATION ASSISTANCE REGISTRY. The
  department shall:
               (1)  establish and maintain a registry of:
                     (A)  participating funeral homes and cemeteries
  willing to provide free common burial or low-cost private burial;
  and
                     (B)  private nonprofit organizations that
  register with the department to provide financial assistance for
  the costs associated with burial or cremation of the embryonic and
  fetal tissue remains of an unborn child; and
               (2)  make the registry information available on request
  to a physician, health care facility, or agent of a physician or
  health care facility.
         Sec. 697.006.  SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE. The
  department may suspend or revoke the license of a health care
  facility that violates Section 697.004 or a rule adopted under this
  chapter.
         Sec. 697.007.  CIVIL PENALTY. (a) A health care facility
  that violates Section 697.004 or a rule adopted under this chapter
  is liable for a civil penalty in an amount of $1,000 for each
  violation.
         (b)  The attorney general may sue to collect the civil
  penalty.  The attorney general may recover reasonable expenses
  incurred in collecting the civil penalty, including court costs,
  reasonable attorney's fees, investigation costs, witness fees, and
  disposition expenses.
         Sec. 697.008.  RULES.  The executive commissioner shall
  adopt rules to implement this chapter.
         SECTION 2.  The executive commissioner of the Health and
  Human Services Commission shall adopt rules to implement Chapter
  697, Health and Safety Code, as added by this Act, not later than
  January 1, 2018.
         SECTION 3.  Chapter 697, Health and Safety Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to the disposition of embryonic and fetal
  tissue remains that occurs on or after February 1, 2018.  The
  disposition of embryonic and fetal tissue remains that occurs
  before February 1, 2018, is governed by the law in effect
  immediately before the effective date of this Act, and the former
  law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
feedback