WFC News

New Sexual Misconduct Laws & the Fire Service

Changes have been made to the law that govern sexual misconduct and disclosure (WAC 246-16-100).  During the 2019 legislative session, the Legislature passed HB 1198. This bill requires a health care provider who is subject to the Uniform Disciplinary Act and has been sanctioned by the Secretary for sexual misconduct to provide for the duration of the stipulation or order, a disclosure to every patient at the patient's next visit with the provider.

There have been questions recently about how these changes apply to the fire service. Essentially, the law was intended for planned or scheduled medical appointments.  The sexual misconduct rules do not apply in emergent situations where services cannot or will not be performed by another health care provider.  However, as scheduled inter-facility transports and scheduled community paramedic work becoming more common in our industry, it could, in fact, be considered a planned or appointment-based medical visit, thus requiring proper disclosure to patients.  Lastly, compliance with the legal provisions of this new law also only need to occur if or when there have been sanctions brought against the medical provider.   

The intent of this email is to simply provide basic understanding of potential impact of these new changes to the fire service and it is not intended to serve in any capacity as professional legal advice.  As always, please consult professional legal counsel regarding any policies or decisions pertaining to the above information. 

If you have further questions on the impact of these changes, you may contact the EMS Chair, Ryan McGrady

Posted: Nov 25, 2019,
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