New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) ACT 1998 - SECT 173

Medical examination of children in need of care and protection

173 Medical examination of children in need of care and protection

(1) If the Secretary or a police officer believes on reasonable grounds (which may consist wholly or partly of information received by that person) that a child is in need of care and protection, the Secretary or the police officer, as the case may be, may serve a notice, in such form as may be prescribed by the regulations:
(a) naming or describing the child, and
(b) requiring the child to be forthwith presented to a medical practitioner specified or described in the notice at a hospital or some other place so specified for the purpose of the child being medically examined,
on the person (whether or not a parent of the child) who appears to the Secretary or the police officer to have the care of the child for the time being.
(2) A person who fails to comply with the requirement contained in a notice served on the person under subsection (1) is guilty of an offence unless it is proved that the person did not have the care of the child at the time the notice was served.
Maximum penalty: 200 penalty units.
Note : An offence against subsection (2) committed by a corporation is an executive liability offence attracting executive liability for a director or other person involved in the management of the corporation--see section 258.
(3) If a person fails to comply with the requirement contained in a notice served on the person under subsection (1), the Secretary or a police officer may present the child in respect of whom the notice was served, or cause the child to be presented, to a medical practitioner at a hospital or elsewhere for the purpose of the child being medically examined.
(4) When a child is presented to a medical practitioner under subsection (1) or (3):
(a) the medical practitioner may carry out or cause to be carried out such medical examination of the child as the medical practitioner thinks fit, including examination at a hospital or place that is not the hospital or place specified in the notice referred to in subsection (1) in respect of the child,
(b) the Secretary is taken, from the time at which the child is presented to the medical practitioner until the expiration of:
(i) such period of time as is reasonably necessary for the child to be examined in accordance with paragraph (a), or
(ii) 72 hours,
whichever period first expires, to be the parent of the child for the purpose only of enabling the examination to be carried out, and
(c) the medical practitioner or other person by whom any such medical examination has been carried out must prepare a written report of the examination for transmission to the Secretary.
(5) The carrying out of a medical examination under this section is not limited to an examination made only by use of the senses but includes the taking and analysis of samples and the use of any machine or device that enables or assists in the examination of a person.
(6) No proceedings lie against the Secretary, medical practitioner, police officer or person employed at any hospital or other place at which a child is examined for or on account of any act, matter or thing done or ordered to be done by that person, and purporting to be done for the purpose of carrying out or assisting in carrying out the provisions of this section, if that person has acted in good faith and with reasonable care.
(7) If a medical practitioner or other person transmits a report to the Secretary pursuant to subsection (4) (c):
(a) the transmission of the report must not, in any proceedings before a court, tribunal or committee, be held to constitute a breach of professional etiquette or ethics or a departure from accepted standards of professional conduct, and
(b) no liability for defamation is incurred because of the making of the report.



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