Tue January 29, 2013
Indiana Senate Panel Approves Bill Addressing Body Fluid Assaults
A bill intended to protect health care workers from assault by body fluid or waste has advanced in the Indiana General Assembly.
Bill sponsor Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), who also heads a hospital security team, says current state law does not cover employees at medical facilities who often have to deal with intoxicated or agitated patients.
"What I’m trying to cover is those situations where a person, on purpose--and I have witnessed--where there’s an IV port installed to deliver medicines and they yank it out of their hand and they’re splattering blood around saying ‘welcome to my world, I’m infected with such-and-such and now you are, too,'" Crider said.
Crider’s bill would make such assaults a class “D” felony, with enhancements for committing the offense when the material is contaminated with hepatitis, HIV or tuberculosis.
The measure was unanimously approved by the Indiana Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee, but it may be included in a broader overhaul of the state’s criminal code under consideration.