1st Session, 59th General Assembly
53 Elizabeth II, 2004
First Reading: May 18, 2004
1 This Act may be cited as the Emergency Services Protection Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "Chief Medical Officer" means the Chief Medical Officer of Health appointed pursuant to the Health Protection Act;
(b) "medical officer" means a medical officer of health appointed pursuant to the Health Protection Act and includes the Chief Medical Officer and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer;
(c) "Minister" means the Minister of Health;
(d) "physician" means a duly qualified medical practitioner;
(e) "physician report" means a report made by a physician who is informed in respect of matters related to occupational and environmental health and all protocols and standards of practice in respect of blood-borne pathogens, which report assesses the risk to the health of the applicant described in Section 4 as a result of the applicant's having come into contact with a bodily substance of another person in the circumstances described in subclause 4 (a) (i), (ii) or (iii).
3 The Minister has the general supervision and management of this Act and the regulations.
4 Upon the application of any person, a medical officer may make a written order described in Section 6 if the medical officer is of the opinion, on reasonable and probable grounds, that
(a) the applicant has come into contact with a bodily substance of another person,
(b) the applicant may have become infected with a virus that causes a prescribed communicable disease as a result of coming into contact with the bodily substance;
(c) by reason of the lengthy incubation periods for the prescribed communicable diseases and the methods available for ascertaining the presence in the human body of the viruses that cause them, an analysis of the applicant's blood would not accurately determine, in a timely manner, whether the applicant had become infected with a virus that causes a prescribed communicable disease as a result of coming into contact with the bodily substance;
(d) taking a sample of blood from the applicant would not endanger that person's life or health;
(e) the applicant has submitted to the medical officer a physician report on the applicant made within seven days after the applicant came into contact with the bodily substance; and
(f) having regard to the physician report referred to in clause (e), the order is necessary to decrease or eliminate the risk to the health of the applicant as a result of the applicant's having come into contact with the bodily substance.
5 A physician who makes a physician report on an applicant described in Section 4 may require the applicant to submit to an examination, base-line testing, counselling or treatment for the purpose of making the report.
6 An order made under Section 4 shall
(a) require the person referred to in Section 4 to allow a physician or another person or class of persons named in the order to take a sample of blood from the person to determine whether the person carries a virus that causes a prescribed communicable disease;
(b) require the physician or another person or class of persons named in the order to whom the person referred to in Section 4 goes for the taking of a sample of blood to take the sample of blood and to deal with it in the manner specified in the order, including
(ii) providing the applicable analyst with the addresses for service of the applicant, the physician of the applicant, the person from whom the sample was taken and the person's physician, if the medical officer has those addresses; and
(c) require the analyst who receives the sample of blood to
(iii) make reasonable attempts to deliver, to the person from whom the sample was taken, a notice that the analyst delivered the report referred to subclause (ii) if the analyst succeeded in delivering the report under that subclause,
7 The medical officer may hold a hearing of all persons who may be affected by the making of an order under Section 4, but is not required to do so.
8 A medical officer who makes an order under Section 4 shall provide the applicant's address for service to the analyst who receives a sample of blood for analysis under Section 6.
9 Where the medical officer refuses to grant the application for an order under Section 4, the applicant may appeal the refusal to the Chief Medical Officer in the time and in the manner prescribed by the regulations.
10 Where a person does not comply with an order made by a medical officer under Section 4 within the time specified in the order, the medical officer or the Minister may apply to a judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for an order requiring the person to,
(a) comply with the order of the medical officer within the time specified in the order of the court; and
(b) take whatever other action the court considers appropriate in the circumstances to protect the interests of the applicant referred to in Section 4.
11 A person who takes a sample of blood under clause 6(b) shall not use it in any way except as required in the order referred to that clause.
12 (1) An analyst who receives a sample of blood for analysis under clause 6(c) shall
(a) ensure that the sample is not used for any purpose other than the analysis and the reporting of results described in that clause;
(b) not release the sample to any person other than for the purpose of that clause or the retention of the sample by a person acting on behalf of the analyst as long as no person other than the analyst has access to the sample; and
(c) not disclose the results to any person other than in accordance with that clause.
(2) The results of the analysis referred to in subsection (1) are not admissible in evidence in a criminal proceeding.
13 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) specifying diseases as communicable diseases, reportable diseases and virulent diseases for the purposes of this Act;
(b) prescribing communicable diseases for the purpose of this Act;
(c) governing an application for an order made under this Act;
(d) prescribing the information that a physician report must or may contain;
(e) prescribing a form for a physician report and requiring that the report be in the prescribed form;
(f) specifying restrictions or conditions on the use or disclosure that any person may make of the sample of blood described in clause 4(d) and on the use or disclosure of any information derived from the sample of blood;
(g) prescribing forms for the purpose of this Act and the regulations;
(h) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(i) further defining any word or expression defined in this Act;
(j) respecting any matter that the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
(2) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsection (1) is regulations within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
14 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.