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Tuesday, July 17th 2012

3:10 PM

Veterinary Negligence and Malpractice Update & Companion Animal Legislation

  • Mood: Oh

WOW! I looked back and realized I have not made a post since May 22. I've let so many timely and pertinent posts slip by, that possibly half the readers are long gone. I do however try to keep up with Facebook and Linked In "shares"

No, I have not abandoned the cause, nor have I forgotten, and yes, I still am in recovery of sorts that I feel every day. I'm psych med free and that has its benefits and downside.

I have goodies "saved" that I may post still, but I am finding "people" DO GET IT!

Yep, they get it all. The fraud, the abuse, the deception, the malpractice, the cruelty, the use as a "teaching tool", the substance abuse "drug free" program/clinic. Yep, they get it all. People get it that a licensed professional in the business of prescribing and administering drugs, just don't have a "mental lapse" of 4 years of not possessing a license to prescribe those drugs, as my previous post about John MacGregor, DVM , DACVIM did. And no, they don't buy into little excuses. But most share the same horror and wonderment, and that is: WHY DOES the government (state) ALLOW contact with companion animals more than mere "outside" diagnostics?

OK , here we have legislation in another state other than our fine "business friendly" state of NH, recognizing a serious concern and consumer issue:


Print Close Window
Colorado

Companion Animal Bill

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: CO 03-1260 (2003)

Citation: House Bill Number 03-1260


Last Checked by Web Center Staff:

Summary:

Permits an owner of an injured companion dog or cat under certain circumstances to recover damages for loss of companionship. Imposes an informed consent requirement on a veterinarian before he or she performs a service involving a substantial risk to a companion dog or cat. Exempts a veterinarian under certain circumstances from local and regional companion dog and cat inoculation requirements.



Statute in Full:

Shading denotes HOUSE amendment. Double underlining denotes SENATE amendment.

Capital letters indicate new material to be added to existing statute.

Dashes through the words indicate deletions from existing statute.

First Regular Session

Sixty-fourth General Assembly

STATE OF COLORADO

INTRODUCED

LLS NO. 03-0611.01 Stephen Miller HOUSE BILL 03-1260

House Committees Senate Committees

Business Affairs & Labor

A BILL FOR AN ACT

CONCERNING CERTAIN DOMESTICATED ANIMALS IN THE ORDER

CARNIVORA THAT ARE USED FOR PURPOSES OF COMPANIONSHIP, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, IMPOSING CIVIL LIABILITY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY AND NEGLIGENT ANIMAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES AFFECTING COMPANION DOGS AND CATS, AND ESTABLISHING SPECIFIC STANDARDS OF VETERINARY PRACTICE INVOLVING INOCULATIONS FOR COMPANION DOGS AND CATS.

Bill Summary

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted.)

HOUSE SPONSORSHIP

Cloer,

and Hefley

SENATE SPONSORSHIP

Chlouber,

and Andrews

Permits an owner of an injured companion dog or cat under certain circumstances to recover damages for loss of companionship. Imposes an informed consent requirement on a veterinarian before he or she performs a service involving a substantial risk to a companion dog or cat.

Exempts a veterinarian under certain circumstances from local and regional companion dog and cat inoculation requirements.

Makes conforming amendments.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado: SECTION 1. Article 21 of title 13, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW PART to read: 3

PART 10

CIVIL LIABILITY FOR INJURY TO COMPANION DOGS AND CATS

13-21-1001. Legislative declaration.

(1) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY FINDS AND DETERMINES THAT:

(a) HARM TO COMPANION DOGS AND CATS IS AN INCREASING PROBLEM FOR COLORADO PET OWNERS;

(b) CURRENT LAWS DO NOT ADEQUATELY ADDRESS THE RECOVERY OF DAMAGES FOR HARM CAUSED TO COMPANION DOGS AND CATS BY ANIMAL CRUELTY OR BY THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OF ANIMAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS OR VETERINARIANS, AND CURRENT LAWS DO NOT DETER THAT HARM;

(c) CURRENT LAWS FAIL TO MAKE THE OWNER OF THE INJURED COMPANION DOG OR CAT WHOLE, AND THEY DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT SOCIETY'S FAVORABLE ATTITUDE TOWARD COMPANION DOGS AND CATS;

(d) CURRENT LAWS PRECLUDE COMPANION DOG AND CAT OWNERS FROM UTILIZING AN EFFECTIVE REMEDY TO COMPENSATE FOR THE INTENTIONAL OR NEGLIGENT HARM CAUSED TO THEIR COMPANION DOGS AND CATS;

(e) COMPANION DOGS AND CATS OFTEN ARE TREATED AS MEMBERS OF A FAMILY, AND AN INJURY TO OR THE DEATH OF A COMPANION DOG OR CAT IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SIGNIFICANT AND OFTEN DEVASTATING TO THE OWNER; AND

(f) CURRENT LAWS RELATING TO INOCULATION AND VACCINATION ARE ARBITRARY, INCOHERENT, AND AMBIGUOUS. AS THE FIELD OF ANIMAL HEALTHCARE INCREASINGLY IMPACTS COMPANION DOG AND CAT OWNERS AND CAREGIVERS, PROFESSIONALS ARE GREATLY AT RISK FOR CLAIMS WHEN THEY VACCINATE OR INOCULATE ANIMALS, OR FAIL TO DO EITHER.

(2) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THEREFORE, DECLARES THAT:

(a) CERTAIN ECONOMIC AND NONECONOMIC DAMAGES RESULTING FROM EITHER ANIMAL CRUELTY OR THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OF ANIMAL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS THAT HARM COMPANION DOGS OR CATS SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED UNDER THE LAW; AND

(b) PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS THAT APPLY TO INOCULATIONS OF COMPANION DOGS AND CATS INVOLVING THE PUBLIC HEALTH SHOULD BE RATIONALIZED AND CODIFIED.

13-21-1002. Definitions.

AS USED IN THIS PART 10, UNLESS THE CONTEXT OTHERWISE REQUIRES:

(1) "COMPANION DOG OR CAT" MEANS AN ASSISTANCE DOG, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 24-34-803 (7) (a), C.R.S., WORKING DOG, OR OTHER DOMESTICATED DOG OR CAT THAT IS OWNED OR KEPT BY A PERSON FOR COMPANIONSHIP, PROTECTION, OR THE SALE TO ANOTHER FOR SUCH PURPOSES.

(2) "OWNER" MEANS A PERSON OWNING, POSSESSING, HARBORING, KEEPING, HAVING A FINANCIAL INTEREST OR PROPERTY INTEREST IN, OR HAVING CONTROL OR CUSTODY OF, A COMPANION DOG OR CAT.

(3) "PERSON" MEANS AN INDIVIDUAL, CORPORATION, PARTNERSHIP, ASSOCIATION, OR OTHER LEGAL ENTITY.

(4) "VETERINARIAN" MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS RECEIVED A DOCTORAL DEGREE IN VETERINARY MEDICINE, OR ITS EQUIVALENT, FROM A SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE AND IS LICENSED TO PRACTICE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 64 OF TITLE 12, C.R.S.

(5) "VETERINARY SERVICE" MEANS A SERVICE OR PROCEDURE INCLUDED WITHIN THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 12-64-103 (10), C.R.S.

(6) "WORKING DOG" MEANS A DOG THAT HAS BEEN OR IS BEING SPECIFICALLY TRAINED EITHER TO BE A THERAPY DOG TO AID AN EPILEPTIC OR OTHER MEDICALLY DISABLED PERSON, OR TO BE AN AID TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IN CARRYING OUT HIS OR HER DUTIES, OR TO PROVIDE ANOTHER REASONABLE SERVICE IN AID OF A PERSON.

13-21-1003. Damages for harm resulting from cruelty to

companion dogs and cats or from negligent health care practices concerning companion dogs and cats. (1) AN OWNER MAY ASSERT A CLAIM THROUGH ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION TO RECOVER ECONOMIC DAMAGES AND NONECONOMIC DAMAGES FOR THE LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP OF A COMPANION DOG OR CAT FROM A PERSON WHO TORTURES, NEEDLESSLY TORMENTS, OR NEEDLESSLY KILLS A COMPANION DOG OR CAT. IF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IS UNSUCCESSFUL, THE OWNER MAY BRING A CIVIL ACTION TO RECOVER THE DAMAGES DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION (1).

(2) AN OWNER MAY ASSERT A CLAIM THROUGH ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION TO RECOVER ECONOMIC DAMAGES AND NONECONOMIC DAMAGES FOR THE LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP OF A COMPANION DOG OR CAT FROM A VETERINARIAN WHO, IN THE COURSE OF NEGLIGENT VETERINARY PRACTICE, NEGLIGENT VETERINARY PERFORMANCE, OR THE NEGLIGENT PRESCRIBING OF VETERINARY SERVICES, CAUSES INJURY OR DEATH TO A COMPANION DOG OR CAT. IF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IS UNSUCCESSFUL, THE OWNER MAY BRING A CIVIL ACTION TO RECOVER THE DAMAGES DESCRIBED IN THIS SUBSECTION (2).

(3) A VETERINARIAN IN ANY PROCEEDING INITIATED PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION WHO IS FOUND TO HAVE WILLFULLY AND WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION CAUSED INJURY OR DEATH TO A COMPANION DOG OR CAT SHALL BE LIABLE TO THE OWNER FOR ECONOMIC DAMAGES AND NONECONOMIC DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES FOR THE LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP.

(4) AN AWARD FOR LOSS OF COMPANIONSHIP DAMAGES UNDER THIS SECTION MAY NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.

(5) DAMAGES AWARDED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO, AND NOT IN LIEU OF, ANY FINE, SUSPENSION, REVOCATION, OR OTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION IMPOSED BY THE STATE BOARD OF VETERINARY MEDICINE PURSUANT TO SECTION 12-64-111, C.R.S.

(6) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT OR ABROGATE:

(a) A CRIMINAL ACTION BROUGHT TO PROSECUTE AN ACT DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION OR IN PART 2 OF ARTICLE 9 OF TITLE 18, C.R.S.;

(b) ANY RIGHT OR CAUSE OF ACTION THAT A CRIME VICTIM MAY ASSERT OR BRING.

13-21-1004. Informed consent.

(1) PRIOR TO PERFORMING OR PRESCRIBING ANY VETERINARY SERVICE THAT INVOLVES A SUBSTANTIAL RISK TO THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF A COMPANION DOG OR CAT, A VETERINARIAN SHALL DISCUSS THE SERVICE WITH THE OWNER. THE DISCUSSION SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING:

(a) A DISCLOSURE BY THE VETERINARIAN OF ANY MATERIAL RISK ASSOCIATED WITH THE VETERINARY SERVICE THAT MAY AFFECT THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT;

(b) THE OWNER'S DECISION TO CONSENT IN WRITING TO THE VETERINARY SERVICE;

(c) APPLICABLE STATE OR LOCAL LAW AFFECTING THE VETERINARY SERVICE; AND

(d) ANY ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO THE VETERINARY SERVICE TO BE PERFORMED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO APPROACHES INVOLVING A VACCINATION WAIVER.

(2) A VETERINARIAN SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSENT REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION IF HE OR SHE REASONABLY BELIEVES THAT A COMPANION DOG OR CAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE VETERINARY CARE IN ORDER TO AVOID SUBSTANTIAL HARM OR DEATH TO THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT.

13-21-1005. Attorney fees.

THE PREVAILING PARTY IN AN ACTION BROUGHT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS PART 10 SHALL BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES AND THE COSTS OF SUIT.

SECTION 2.

25-4-607, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

25-4-607. Order of board of health requiring inoculation of

animals. (1) When it is deemed advisable in the interest of public health and safety, the board of health of an organized health department or a county board of health may order that all dogs, cats, other pet animals, or other mammals in the county or district be vaccinated against rabies, such vaccination to be performed by a licensed veterinarian. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section SUBSECTION (1) AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, no board of health of an organized health department or county board of health shall order the inoculation of animals against rabies any more frequently than is recommended in the "Compendium of Animal Rabies Control" as promulgated by the national association of state public health veterinarians.

(2) A BOARD OF HEALTH OF AN ORGANIZED HEALTH DEPARTMENT OR COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH MAY NOT ORDER THAT A COMPANION DOG OR CAT, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-21-1002 (1), C.R.S., BE INOCULATED AGAINST RABIES:

(a) ANY MORE FREQUENTLY THAN WHAT IS RECOMMENDED BY THE "COMPENDIUM OF ANIMAL RABIES CONTROL" DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION, OR TRIENNIALLY, WHICHEVER IS LESS FREQUENT; OR (b) WHEN THE VETERINARIAN BELIEVES THAT, IN THE INTEREST OF THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT, INOCULATION IS INAPPROPRIATE DUE TO THE AGE OR POOR HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT.

(3) A VETERINARIAN MAY ISSUE A WRITTEN WAIVER EXEMPTING A COMPANION DOG OR CAT FROM LOCAL INOCULATION REQUIREMENTS WHEN THE VETERINARIAN, IN HIS OR HER PROFESSIONAL OPINION, DEEMS THAT THE WAIVER WILL BENEFIT THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE PUBLIC HEALTH. A WAIVER EXECUTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE ACCEPTED AND RECOGNIZED BY ANY LOCAL OR REGIONAL AUTHORITY ISSUING LICENSES FOR THE OWNERSHIP OF ANIMALS THAT ARE COMPANION DOGS OR CATS.

SECTION 3.

25-4-615 (2), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended, and the said 25-4-615 is further amended BY THE ADDITION OF THE FOLLOWING NEW SUBSECTIONS, to read:

25-4-615. Further municipal restrictions not prohibited.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN SUBSECTION (3) OF THIS SECTION, no municipality shall require any animal to be inoculated against rabies any more frequently than is recommended in the "Compendium of Animal Rabies Control" as promulgated by the national association of state public health veterinarians.

(3) A MUNICIPALITY MAY NOT ORDER THAT A COMPANION DOG OR CAT, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-21-1002 (1), C.R.S., BE INOCULATED AGAINST RABIES:

(a) ANY MORE FREQUENTLY THAN WHAT IS RECOMMENDED BY THE "COMPENDIUM OF ANIMAL RABIES CONTROL" DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, OR TRIENNIALLY, WHICHEVER LESS FREQUENT; OR

(b) WHEN THE VETERINARIAN BELIEVES THAT, IN THE INTEREST OF THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT, INOCULATION IS INAPPROPRIATE DUE TO THE AGE OR POOR HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT.

(4) A VETERINARIAN MAY ISSUE A WRITTEN WAIVER EXEMPTING A COMPANION DOG OR CAT FROM MUNICIPAL INOCULATION REQUIREMENTS WHEN THE VETERINARIAN, IN HIS OR HER PROFESSIONAL OPINION, DEEMS THAT THE WAIVER WILL BENEFIT THE HEALTH OF THE COMPANION DOG OR CAT WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE PUBLIC HEALTH. A WAIVER EXECUTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE ACCEPTED AND RECOGNIZED BY ANY MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY ISSUING LICENSES FOR THE OWNERSHIP OF ANIMALS THAT ARE COMPANION DOGS OR CATS.

SECTION 4. Effective date.

This act shall take effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly that is allowed for submitting a referendum petition pursuant to article V, section 1 (3) of the state constitution; except that, if a referendum petition is filed against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part, if approved by the people, shall take effect on the date of the official declaration of the vote thereon by proclamation of the governor.

http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusco03_1260.htm

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Think the bill is crazy? Well on a next post, I'll give my opinion and experience on why it isn't. But first, legislation proposed in New York, and media articles on the reason it is proposed. Oh, and a couple of like proposals from Europe, and a few smatherings of Anti-vivisection work

Which, the current umbrella of "anti-vivisection INCLUDES animal USE as TEACHING TOOLS

 

Until then~~

 

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