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HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 11/9/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3825



The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act requiring certain information relative to Down Syndrome be provided to certain parents and families..


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

              SECTION  1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 70G the following section:—

              Section 70H.

              (a) For the purposes of this section, the term “Down syndrome” shall mean a chromosomal condition caused by an error in cell division that results in the presence of an extra whole or partial copy of chromosome 21.  Any facility, as defined in section 70E, physician, health care provider, nurse midwife or genetic counselor who renders prenatal care, postnatal care or genetic counseling, upon receipt of a positive test result from a test for Down syndrome, shall provide the expectant or new parent with information provided by the department under subsection (b). 

              (b) The department shall make available to any person who renders prenatal care, postnatal care or genetic counseling of parents who receive a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome the following: (1) up-to-date, evidence-based, written information about Down syndrome that has been reviewed by medical experts and national Down syndrome organizations.  The written information provided shall include physical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial outcomes, life expectancy, clinical course, and intellectual and functional development and treatment options; and (2) contact information regarding First Call programs and support services, including information hotlines specific to Down syndrome, resource centers or clearinghouses, national and local Down syndrome organizations such as the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, and other education and support programs. The department may also make such information available to any other person who has received a positive test result from a test for Down syndrome.

              (c) Information provided under this section shall be culturally and linguistically appropriate for women receiving a positive prenatal diagnosis or  for the family of a child receiving a postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

              (d) Nothing in this section shall limit the rights of any person under section 70G.

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