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AB-242 Certificates of death: veterans.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/03/2017 02:00 PM
AB242:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 07, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 242


Introduced by Assembly Members Arambula and Patterson
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cervantes, Mathis, Chávez, Dababneh, Cristina Garcia, Grayson, Maienschein, Mathis, Salas, Gallagher, Gonzalez Fletcher, and Wood)

January 30, 2017


An act to amend Section 102875 of, and to add Section 102791 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to certificates of death.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 242, as amended, Arambula. Certificates of death: veterans.
Existing law establishes the State Department of Public Health under the direction of the State Public Health Officer. Existing law sets forth the powers and duties of the State Public Health Officer, including, but not limited to, designation as the State Registrar of Vital Statistics, having supervisory powers over local registrars and responsibility for the uniform and thorough enforcement of provisions relating to the registration of certain vital statistics.
Existing law requires that each death be registered with the local registrar of births and deaths in the district in which the death was officially pronounced or the body was found. Existing law sets forth the persons responsible for completing the certificate of death and the required contents of the certificate, including, but not limited to, the decedent’s name, sex, and birthplace. Certain violations of these requirements are a crime.
This bill would require a person completing the certificate of death to record whether the decedent was ever in the Armed Forces of the United States. The bill would also require the State Department of Public Health to access data within the electronic death registration system to compile a report on veteran suicide in California and require the department to annually provide that report to the Legislature and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Affairs, beginning January 1, 2019. By changing the definition of existing crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 102791 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

102791.
 (a) The State Department of Public Health shall access data within the electronic death registration system implemented pursuant to Section 102778 to compile a report on veteran suicide in California. The report shall include, at a minimum, only include information on the ages, sexes, nationalities, races or ethnicities, and methods of suicide of veterans.
(b) (1) The Beginning January 1, 2019, the department shall, notwithstanding Section 10231.5, 10231.5 of the Government Code, annually provide the report compiled pursuant to subdivision (a) to the Legislature and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795. 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 102875 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

102875.
 The certificate of death shall be divided into two sections.
(a) The first section shall contain those items necessary to establish the fact of the death, including all of the following and those other items as the State Registrar may designate:
(1) (A) Personal data concerning decedent including full name, sex, color or race, marital status, name of spouse, date of birth and age at death, birthplace, usual residence, occupation and industry or business, and whether the decedent was ever in the Armed Forces of the United States.
(B) A person completing the certificate shall record the decedent’s sex to reflect the decedent’s gender identity. The decedent’s gender identity shall be reported by the informant, unless the person completing the certificate is presented with a birth certificate, a driver’s license, a social security record, a court order approving a name or gender change, a passport, an advanced health care directive, or proof of clinical treatment for gender transition, in which case the person completing the certificate shall record the decedent’s sex as that which corresponds to the decedent’s gender identity as indicated in that document. If none of these documents are presented and the person with the right, or a majority of persons who have equal rights, to control the disposition of the remains pursuant to Section 7100 is in disagreement with the gender identity reported by the informant, the gender identity of the decedent recorded on the death certificate shall be as reported by that person or majority of persons.
(C) If a document specified in subparagraph (B) is not presented and a majority of persons who have equal rights to control the disposition of the remains pursuant to Section 7100 do not agree with the gender identity of the decedent as reported by the informant, any one of those persons may file a petition, in the superior court in the county in which the decedent resided at the time of his or her death, or in which the remains are located, naming as a party to the action those persons who otherwise have equal rights to control the disposition and seeking an order of the court determining, as appropriate, who among those parties shall determine the gender identity of the decedent.
(D) A person completing the death certificate in compliance with subparagraph (B) is not liable for any damages or costs arising from claims related to the sex of the decedent as entered on the certificate of death.
(E) A person completing the death certificate shall comply with the data and certification requirements described in Section 102800 by using the information available to him or her prior to the deadlines for completion specified in that section.
(2) Date of death, including month, day, and year.
(3) Place of death.
(4) Full name of father and birthplace of father, and full maiden name of mother and birthplace of mother.
(5) Informant.
(6) Disposition of body information, including signature and license number of embalmer, if the body is embalmed, or name of embalmer if affixed by attorney-in-fact; name of funeral director, or person acting as such; and date and place of interment or removal. Notwithstanding any other law, an electronic signature substitute, or some other indicator of authenticity, approved by the State Registrar may be used in lieu of the actual signature of the embalmer.
(7) Certification and signature of attending physician and surgeon or certification and signature of coroner when required to act by law. Notwithstanding any other law, the person completing the portion of the certificate setting forth the cause of death may attest to its accuracy by use of an electronic signature substitute, or some other indicator of authenticity, approved by the State Registrar in lieu of a signature.
(8) Date accepted for registration and signature of local registrar. Notwithstanding any other law, the local registrar may elect to use an electronic signature substitute, or some other indicator of authenticity, approved by the State Registrar in lieu of a signature.
(b) The second section shall contain those items relating to medical and health data, including all of the following and other items as the State Registrar may designate:
(1) Disease or conditions leading directly to death and antecedent causes.
(2) Operations and major findings thereof.
(3) Accident and injury information.
(4) Information indicating whether the decedent was pregnant at the time of death, or within the year prior to the death, if known, as determined by observation, autopsy, or review of the medical record. This paragraph shall not be interpreted to require the performance of a pregnancy test on a decedent, or to require a review of medical records in order to determine pregnancy.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.