As Amended by Senate Committee
Session of 1997
SENATE BILL No. 304
By Committee on Public Health and Welfare
10 AN ACT relating to the child death review board; authorizing the estab-
11 lishment of local child death review boards; amending K.S.A. 22a-241,
12 22a-242, 22a-243 and 22a-244 and repealing the existing sections.
14 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
15 Section 1. K.S.A. 22a-241 is hereby amended to read as follows: 22a-
16 241. As used in K.S.A. 22a-241 through 22a-244, and amendments
18 (a) ``Child'' means a person less than 18 years of age.
19 (b) ``Local review board'' means a local child death review board es-
20 tablished under K.S.A. 22a-243 and amendments thereto.
(b) (c) ``Pathologist'' means a forensic pathologist, if available. Oth-
22 erwise, ``pathologist'' means a physician licensed to practice medicine and
23 surgery and qualified to conduct an autopsy.
24 (c) (d) ``State review board'' means the state child death review board
25 established by K.S.A. 22a-243 and amendments thereto.
26 (d) (e) ``Suspicious circumstances'' includes, but is not limited to,
27 abuse or neglect.
28 Sec. 2. K.S.A. 22a-242 is hereby amended to read as follows: 22a-
29 242. (a) When a child dies, any law enforcement officer, health care pro-
30 vider or other person having knowledge of the death shall immediately
31 notify the coroner of the known facts concerning the time, place, manner
32 and circumstances of the death. If the notice to the coroner identifies any
33 suspicious circumstances or unknown cause, as described in the protocol
34 developed by the state review board under K.S.A. 22a-243 and amend-
35 ments thereto, the coroner shall immediately: (1) Investigate the death
36 to determine whether the child's death included any such suspicious cir-
37 cumstance or unknown cause; and (2) direct a pathologist to perform an
39 (b) If, after investigation and an autopsy, the coroner determines that
40 the death of a child does not include any suspicious circumstances or
41 unknown cause, as described in the protocol developed by the state re-
42 view board under K.S.A. 22a-243 and amendments thereto, the coroner
43 shall complete and sign a nonsuspicious child death form.
1 (c) If, after investigation and an autopsy, the coroner determines that
2 the death of a child includes any suspicious circumstance or unknown
3 cause, as described in the protocol developed by the state review board
4 under K.S.A. 22a-243 and amendments thereto, the coroner shall notify,
5 within 30 days, the chairperson of the state review board and the chair-
6 person of the local review board and shall notify, within 24 hours, the
7 county or district attorney of the county where the death of the child
9 (d) The coroner shall attempt to notify any parent or legal guardian
10 of the deceased child prior to the performance of an autopsy pursuant to
11 this section and attempt to notify any such parent or legal guardian of the
12 results of the autopsy.
13 (e) A coroner shall not make a determination that the death of a child
14 less than one year of age was caused by sudden infant death syndrome
15 unless an autopsy is performed.
16 (f) The fee for an autopsy performed under this section shall be the
17 usual and reasonable fee and travel allowance authorized under K.S.A.
18 22a-233 and amendments thereto and shall be paid from moneys available
19 therefor from appropriations to the department of health and environ-
20 ment. The reasonableness of all claims for payment of a fee for an autopsy
21 under this section shall be determined by the secretary of health and
23 Sec. 3. K.S.A. 22a-243 is hereby amended to read as follows: 22a-
24 243. (a) There is hereby established a state child death review board,
25 which shall be composed of:
26 (1) One member appointed by each of the following officers to rep-
27 resent the officer's agency: The attorney general, the director of the Kan-
28 sas bureau of investigation, the secretary of social and rehabilitation serv-
29 ices, the secretary of health and environment and the commissioner of
31 (2) three members appointed by the state board of healing arts, one
32 of whom shall be a district coroner and two of whom shall be physicians
33 licensed to practice medicine and surgery, one specializing in pathology
34 and the other specializing in pediatrics;
35 (3) one person appointed by the attorney general to represent ad-
36 vocacy groups which focus attention on child abuse awareness and pre-
37 vention; and
38 (4) one county or district attorney appointed by the Kansas county
39 and district attorneys association.
40 (b) The chairperson of the state review board shall be the member
41 appointed by the attorney general to represent the office of the attorney
43 (c) The state child death review board shall be within the office of
1 the attorney general as a part thereof. All budgeting, purchasing and re-
2 lated management functions of the board shall be administered under the
3 direction and supervision of the attorney general. All vouchers for ex-
4 penditures and all payrolls of the board shall be approved by the chair-
5 person of the board and by the attorney general. The state review board
6 shall establish and maintain an office in Topeka.
7 (d) The state review board shall meet at least annually to review all
8 reports submitted to the board. The chairperson of the state review board
9 may call a special meeting of the board at any time to review any report
10 of a child death.
11 (e) Within the limits of appropriations therefor, the state review
12 board shall appoint an executive director who shall be in the unclassified
13 service of the Kansas civil service act and shall receive an annual salary
14 fixed by the state review board.
15 (f) Within the limits of appropriations therefor, the state review board
16 may employ other persons who shall be in the classified service of the
17 Kansas civil service act.
18 (g) Members of the state review board shall not receive compensa-
19 tion, subsistence allowances, mileage and expenses as provided by K.S.A.
20 75-3223 and amendments thereto for attending meetings or subcommit-
21 tee meetings of the board.
22 (h) The state review board shall develop a protocol to be used by the
23 state review board and any local review board established pursuant to
24 subsection (j). The protocol shall include written guidelines for coroners
25 to use in identifying any suspicious deaths, procedures to be used by the
26 board in investigating child deaths, methods to ensure coordination and
27 cooperation among all agencies involved in child deaths and procedures
28 for facilitating prosecution of perpetrators when it appears the cause of
29 a child's death was from abuse or neglect. The protocol shall be adopted
30 by the state review board by rules and regulations.
31 (i) The state review board shall submit an annual report to the gov-
32 ernor and the legislature on or before October 1 of each year
33 mencing October 1993. Such report shall include the findings of the
34 board regarding reports of child deaths, the board's analysis and the
35 board's recommendations for improving child protection, including rec-
36 ommendations for modifying statutes, rules and regulations, policies and
38 (j) Recognizing that the prevention of child deaths is a community as
39 well as statewide interest, the state review board may encourage each
40 county to establish a local child death review board to review any child
41 death occurring within the county which includes a suspicious circum-
42 stance or unknown cause. The local review board shall operate pursuant
43 to the protocol developed by the state review board under subsection (h),
1 pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the state review board under
2 subsection (l) and pursuant to guidelines established by the state review
3 board. The local review board shall report to the state review board
4 information acquired by the local review board as provided in rules
5 and regulations adopted by the state review board.
(j) (k) Information acquired by, and records of, the state review board
7 and the local review board shall be confidential, shall not be disclosed
8 and shall not be subject to subpoena, discovery or introduction into evi-
9 dence in any civil or criminal proceeding, except that:
10 (1) Such information and records may be disclosed to any member
11 of the legislature or any legislative committee which has legislative re-
12 sponsibility of the enabling or appropriating legislation, carrying out such
13 member's or committee's official functions. The legislative committee, in
14 accordance with K.S.A. 75-4319 and amendments thereto, shall recess
15 for a closed or executive meeting to receive and discuss information re-
16 ceived by the committee pursuant to this subsection .; and
17 (2) such information and records may be shared between the state
18 review board and the local review board.
19 (k) (l) The state review board may adopt rules and regulations as
20 necessary to carry out the provisions of K.S.A. 22a-241 through 22a-244
21 and amendments thereto.
22 Sec. 4. K.S.A. 22a-244 is hereby amended to read as follows: 22a-
23 244. (a) Within 72 hours after receipt of notification from a coroner pur-
24 suant to K.S.A. 22a-242, the chairperson of the state review board and
25 the chairperson of the local review board may activate the board their
26 respective boards to investigate and make a written report regarding the
28 (b) The state review board and the local review board shall have ac-
29 cess to all law enforcement investigative information regarding the death;
30 any autopsy records and coroner's investigative records relating to the
31 death; any medical records of the child; and any records of the depart-
32 ment of social and rehabilitation services or any other social service
33 agency which has provided services to the child or the child's family within
34 three years preceding the child's death.
35 (c) The state review board and the local review board may apply to
36 the district court for the issuance of, and the district court may issue, a
37 subpoena to compel the production of any books, records or papers rel-
38 evant to the cause of any death being investigated by the state review
39 board or the local review board. Any books, records or papers received
40 by the state review board or the local review board pursuant to the sub-
41 poena shall be regarded as confidential and privileged information and
42 not subject to disclosure, except that such books, records or papers may
43 be shared between the state review board and the local review board.
1 (d) The written reports of the state review
board's report board and
2 the local review board shall contain the circumstances leading up to the
3 death and cause of death; any social service agency involvement prior to
4 death, including the kinds of services delivered to the dead child or the
5 child's parents, siblings or any other children in the home; the reasons
6 for initial social service agency activity and the reasons for any termination
7 of agency activities if involvement was terminated; whether court inter-
8 vention had ever been sought and, if so, any action taken by the court;
9 and recommendations for prevention of future death under similar cir-
11 (e) Within 15 days of its activation pursuant to this section, the state
12 review board and the local review board shall complete and transmit a
13 copy of its written report to the county or district attorney of the county
14 in which the child's death occurred. If the death of the child occurred in
15 a different county than where the child resided, a copy of the report shall
16 be sent to the county or district attorney of the county where the child
17 resided or, if the child resided in another state, to the child protective
18 services agency of that state.
19 (f) The state review board and the local review board shall maintain
20 permanent records of all written reports concerning child deaths.
21 (g) The state review board or the local review board, or both, may
22 disclose its conclusions regarding a report of a child death but shall not
23 disclose any information received by the state review board or the local
24 review board which is not subject to public disclosure by the agency that
25 provided the information to the board.
26 (h) Information, documents and records otherwise available from
27 other sources are not immune from discovery or use in a civil or criminal
28 action solely because they were presented during proceedings of the state
29 review board or the local review board. A person who presented infor-
30 mation before the state review board or the local review board or who is
31 a member of the state review board or the local review board shall not
32 be prevented from testifying about matters within the person's knowl-
34 Sec. 5. K.S.A. 22a-241, 22a-242, 22a-243 and 22a-244 are hereby re-
36 Sec. 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
37 publication in the statute book.