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  • Family Justice Resource Center

Texas Legislation Entitles Accused Parents to Second Opinion

New Texas legislation gives parents accused of child abuse the right to a second opinion. It also includes a requirement that the opinion must come from a treating physician, not another child abuse pediatrician (CAPs rarely perform treatment in their consulting role).

TX SB1578 passed last week on June 18, and will go into effect on September 1st of this year. According to Andrew Brown–Vice President of Policy at the Texas Public Policy Institute–the provision for the second opinion coming specifically from a treating physician can be attributed to Sen. Lois Kelkhorst (R). The second opinion now must be given by “a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating an underlying health condition.” This will promote objectivity and help prevent the occurrence of another child abuse pediatrician analyzing the case with an identical approach to the first.

Texas Senate Bill 1578 (TX SB1578)

In consideration of this bill, lawmakers heard from several parents who underwent a medically-based wrongful allegation of child abuse, including Rana Tyson, Bria and Andrew Huber, Ann-Marie Timmerman, Lorina and Jason Troy, Holly Simonton, among others.

Read and download the full Texas Senate Bill 1578 (TX SB1578) here.


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