2015 SSL Volume

This act amends Tennessee’s fetal homicide law to allow the prosecution of a pregnant woman for the illegal use of a narcotic drug, if her child is born addicted or harmed by the drugs she took during her pregnancy. The charge of assault is a misdemeanor offense, but if the child is harmed, aggravated assault, with a 15-year maximum prison term, could be charged. That a woman is enrolled in long term drug addiction treatment before the child is born, remains in the program after delivery and successfully completes the program is an affirmative defense under the law. The law is set to expire on July 1, 2016.

Mental Health First Aid Training Act

This act directs the state Department of Human Services to establish and administer the Mental Health First Aid training program so that certified trainers can provide residents, professionals, and members of the public with training on how to identify and assist someone who is believed to be developing or has developed a...

This act expands Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act through the “private option” of policies offered on the state Health Insurance Exchange. The act allows low-income individuals to buy private insurance with Medicaid funding.

This act requires the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to develop evidence-based caregiver assessments and referral tools for family caregivers. Further, a plan of care would be developed which would take into account the needs of the caregiver and the recipient.

According to the United States Department of Labor, “approximately 450,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest in the United States” and “early defibrillation is the only definitive treatment for sudden cardiac arrest” with the best “save” rates occurring when an electric shock is delivered within three minutes of a patient's collapse. Because of the urgency of the situation, the increasing incidence of cardiac arrest in children, and the frequent use of schools as a gathering place for public functions and events for all ages, states have enacted legislation providing for the placement of automated external defibrillators (AED) in schools. Many of the acts are named in memory of a student who died of sudden cardiac arrest following an athletic practice or event at a school.

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