WHEREAS, it is desirable to create a formal procedure that will result in the prompt review of maternal deaths while still protecting the confidentiality rights of the individuals involved in the investigation; and
WHEREAS, in furtherance of its commitment, the Child Death, Near Death, and Stillbirth Commission supports these reviews;
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Title 31, section 301 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (8) as follows:
“(8) “Maternal death” means the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.”
Section 2. Amend Title 31, section 320 of the Delaware Code by inserting the following: “and pregnant women” after the words “safety of the children”, “and maternal death” after the words “20 weeks of gestation”, and “and pregnant women” after the words “mortality of children”.
Section 3. Amend Title 31, section 321(a) of the Delaware Code by inserting in the third sentence the phrase “, each maternal death panel” after “near death review panel” and before “and each Fetal and Infant”.
Section 4. Amend Title 31, section 321 of the Delaware Code by adding a subsection (g) which shall read as follows:
“The Commission shall by resolution passed by a majority of its members establish one (1) regional panel authorized to review maternal deaths.”
Section 5. Amend Title 31, section 323(a) of the Delaware Code by inserting “and all maternal deaths” before the words “which occur in Delaware” appearing in the first sentence.
Section 6. Amend Title 31, section 323(a) of the Delaware Code by inserting “and mothers” after the word “children” in the third sentence.
Section 7. Amend Title 31, section 323(a) of the Delaware Code by inserting the following after the fourth sentence:
“In addition to the Commission’s release of recommendations, the Commission shall release summary information and findings resulting from reviews of child deaths and near deaths due to abuse and neglect. Said release of information and findings shall occur at the completion of prosecution.”
Section 8. Amend Title 31, section 323(b) of the Delaware Code by striking the first sentence and inserting the following in lieu thereof:
“The Commission shall conduct child death and near death reviews according to procedures promulgated by the Commission. The Commission shall conduct maternal death reviews which utilize a public health model and shall include information gathered through a clinical review and summary of medical and other subpoenaed records.”
Section 9. Amend Title 31, section 323(e) by inserting the number “6” in place of the existing number “3” in the first sentence.
Section 10. Amend Title 31, section 323(e) by inserting “6 to 9 months” in place of “3 to 6 months” in the last sentence.