Health and Safety Code Section 103900 Reporting Disorders Characterized by Lapses of Consciousness

Reporting Disorders Characterized by Lapses of Consciousness

103900.  (a) Every physician and surgeon shall report immediately to the local health officer in writing, the name, date of birth, and address of every patient at least 14 years of age or older whom the physician and surgeon has diagnosed as having a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness. However, if a physician and surgeon reasonably and in good faith believes that the reporting of a patient will serve the public interest, he or she may report a patient's condition even if it may not be required under the department's definition of disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to subdivision (d).

(b) The local health officer shall report in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles the name, age, and address, of every person reported to it as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness.

(c) These reports shall be for the information of the Department of Motor Vehicles in enforcing the Vehicle Code, and shall be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of determining the eligibility of any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.

(d) The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall define disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness based upon existing clinical standards for that definition for purposes of this section and shall include Alzheimer's disease and those related disorders that are severe enough to be likely to impair a person's ability to operate a motor vehicle in the definition. The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall list those circumstances that shall not require reporting pursuant to subdivision (a) because the patient is unable to ever operate a motor vehicle or is otherwise unlikely to represent a danger that requires reporting. The department shall consult with professional medical organizations whose members have specific expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of those disorders in the development of the definition of what constitutes a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness as well as definitions of functional severity to guide reporting so that diagnosed cases reported pursuant to this section are only those where there is reason to believe that the patients' conditions are likely to impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle. The department shall complete the definition on or before January 1, 1992.

(e) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall, in consultation with the professional medical organizations specified in subdivision (d), develop guidelines designed to enhance the monitoring of patients affected with disorders specified in this section in order to assist with the patients' compliance with restrictions imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles on the patients' licenses to operate a motor vehicle. The guidelines shall be completed on or before January 1, 1992.

(f) A physician and surgeon who reports a patient diagnosed as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to this section shall not be civilly or criminally liable to any patient for making any report required or authorized by this section.