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General Laws

Section 12A. Every physician attending or treating a case of bullet wound, gunshot wound, powder burn or any other injury arising from or caused by the discharge of a gun, pistol, BB gun, or other air rifle or firearm, or examining or treating a person with a burn injury affecting five per cent or more of the surface area of his body, or, whenever any such case is treated in a hospital, sanatorium or other institution, the manager, superintendent or other person in charge thereof, shall report such case at once to the colonel of the state police and to the police of the town where such physician, hospital, sanatorium or institution is located or, in the case of burn injuries, notification shall be made at once to the state fire marshal and to the police of the town where the burn injury occurred. This section shall not apply to such wounds, burns or injuries received by any member of the armed forces of the United States or of the commonwealth while engaged in the actual performance of duty. Every physician attending or treating a case of wound or injury caused by a knife or sharp or pointed instrument shall, if in his opinion a criminal act was involved, report such case forthwith to the police authorities of the town in which he attended or treated such wound or injury. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars. The colonel of state police shall make available to the commissioner of public health all reports regarding: (i) bullet wounds, gunshot wounds, powder burns or any other injury arising from or caused by the discharge of a rifle, shotgun, firearm or air rifle; (ii) burn injuries affecting 5 per cent or more of the surface area of the human body; and (iii) wounds or injuries caused by a knife or other sharp or pointed instrument; provided, however, that personal information identifying the victim or the perpetrator may be redacted if the release of such information may compromise an investigation.

In cases of examination or treatment of a person with injuries resulting from opiate, illegal or illicit drug overdose, a hospital, community health center or clinic shall report de-identified, aggregate information in a manner to be determined in conjunction with the department of public health.

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