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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 18: Health

Chapter 009: Laboratory Services; Chief Medical Examiner; Autopsies

  • § 501. State Health Laboratory; other laboratories; tests

    The Commissioner shall have supervision and management of the Vermont State Health Laboratory. The Commissioner may provide for approval and registration of laboratories performing examinations or tests of a public health nature. Any laboratory that examines material for any living agent or evidence of living agent of a reportable disease to any person shall immediately send the results of such tests, if positive, to the State Health Laboratory. The laboratory shall make chemical and bacteriological examination of water supplies, milk, and food products and examinations for the detection and control of communicable diseases and shall carry on such work in relation to the health of the residents of the State as the Commissioner shall direct. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; amended 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 52; Amended 2023, No. 53, § 44, eff. June 8, 2023; 2023, No. 6, § 98, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • § 501a. Specimens submitted by chiropractic physicians

    (a) According to the public health laws of this State, the State Health Laboratory is required to serve the interests of all of the people of the State, and as chiropractic physicians are subject to the laws relating to contagious and infectious diseases, the purpose of this section is to authorize the facilities of the State Health Laboratory to chiropractic physicians and their patients.

    (b) All duly licensed chiropractic physicians in this State shall be legally entitled to submit specimens for examination and to receive reports on such specimens submitted to the Laboratory.

    (c) This section shall not be construed to enlarge or restrict the existing legal practice of chiropractors. (Added 1959, No. 241, §§ 1-3; amended 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 53.)

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    501b. Certification of laboratories

    (a) The Commissioner may certify a laboratory that meets the standards currently in effect of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference and is accredited by an approved National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program accrediting authority or its equivalent to perform the testing and monitoring:

    (1) required under 10 V.S.A. chapter 56 and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act; and

    (2) of water from a potable water supply, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A. 1972(6).

    (b)(1) The Commissioner may by order suspend or revoke a certificate granted under this section, after notice and opportunity to be heard, if the Commissioner finds that the certificate holder has:

    (A) submitted materially false or materially inaccurate information; or

    (B) violated any material requirement, restriction, or condition of the certificate; or

    (C) violated any statute, rule, or order relating to this title.

    (2) The order shall set forth what steps, if any, may be taken by the certificate holder to relieve the holder of the suspension or enable the certificate holder to reapply for certification if a previous certificate has been revoked.

    (c) A certificate holder may appeal the suspension or revocation of the certificate to the Superior Court of the county in which the certificate holder is located.

    (d) Laboratory certification and approval Annual fee shall be:

    Drug laboratory approval $500.00

    Drug laboratory alternate approval $300.00

    Drug laboratory approval renewal $300.00

    Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) laboratory

    certification Bacteriology $500.00

    Inorganic chemistry $500.00

    Organic chemistry (volatile organic

    compounds/pesticides $500.00

    Radiological chemistry $500.00

    Laboratory site visits Not to exceed cost

    Clinical laboratory registration fee $25.00

    (e) Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the Department to offset the costs of providing these services.

    (f) A laboratory certified to conduct testing of groundwater sources or water supplies for use by a potable water supply, as that term is defined in 10 V.S.A. 1972(6), including under the requirements of 10 V.S.A. 1982, shall submit the results of groundwater analyses to the Department of Health in a format required by the Department of Health. (Added 1991, No. 71, 6; amended 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), 56; 2003, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), 1; 2011, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2013; 2017, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), 6; 2019, No. 57, 16; 2023, No. 53, 45, eff. June 8, 2023.)

  • § 502. School of instruction; periodicals

    The Commissioner may conduct a school of instruction for health officers at such times and places as the Commissioner directs. The Commissioner may issue a periodical giving the results of the work done at the laboratory and the approved methods for the protection of the public health, and such publications shall be furnished free to health officers and residents of the State. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2023, No. 53, § 46, eff. June 8, 2023.)

  • § 503. Use of laboratory by people

    (a) The use of the laboratory, and all investigations mentioned in this chapter, except as otherwise provided, shall be available to the people of this State.

    (b) Reasonable fees shall be charged to cover the cost of services provided if the service is not requested under the authority of the Commissioner of Health.

    (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of 32 V.S.A. § 603, the Commissioner shall establish fees reasonably related to the cost of the laboratory services. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to change fee amounts or add new fees to respond to new laboratory testing requirements or improvements, except for fee increases charged to municipalities for testing public water systems and supplies and the fee for total coliform testing, which shall be not more than $14.00. In determining whether to exercise such discretion, the Commissioner shall consider such factors as newly identified public health needs, changes in technology or methodology that affect cost, changes in testing supply cost, and changes in sample numbers that affect testing costs. Fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the Department to offset the cost of providing the services and shall be reported in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 605. (Amended 1985, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1991, No. 71, § 5; 1999, No. 49, §§ 187, 188; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. June 21, 2002; 2003, No. 61, § 2; 2023, No. 6, § 99, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • § 504. Investigation in criminal cause; expert witness

    When the State’s Attorney of a county, on the order of a Superior judge or the Attorney General, for use in a criminal cause pending in the State’s Attorney’s office, requests an expert investigation, chemical or pathological, of a substance, such investigation shall immediately be made at the laboratory, without charge to the State, and the expert making or interpreting such investigation shall submit the results of such expert’s work to such State’s Attorney and shall attend court as a witness at any place in the State when required to do so by subpoena and submit in court the results of such expert’s investigation, and the expert shall be paid as a witness, including the expert’s actual expenses of attendance when summoned by the State. (Amended 1985, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 2023, No. 6, § 100, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • § 505. Autopsies

    When a Superior judge or the Attorney General orders an autopsy on the body of a person, as provided in section 504 of this title, the Superior judge or the Attorney General shall direct that such autopsy shall be made by the Chief Medical Examiner, or under the Chief Medical Examiner’s direction, unless, for good cause shown, such judge or the Attorney General otherwise directs. (Amended 1971, No. 33, § 2, eff. July 1, 1971; 2023, No. 6, § 101, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • § 506. Duties and compensation of the Chief Medical Examiner performing autopsy

    At such autopsy, the Chief Medical Examiner shall take and preserve under proper seal such portions of the body and its contents, together with such other articles as the Chief Medical Examiner judges may require subsequent examination in the investigation of the case. For performing such autopsy, the Chief Medical Examiner shall be paid actual expenses, including the expenses of the Chief Medical Examiner’s assistants. The Commissioner of Finance and Management, upon presentation of the account for such expenses, duly sworn to by the Chief Medical Examiner and approved by the Attorney General, shall issue the Commissioner’s warrant for the expenses. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8(a), (b); 1971, No. 33, § 3, eff. July 1, 1971; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 2023, No. 6, § 102, eff. July 1, 2023.)

  • § 507. Contract for services of the Chief Medical Examiner

    The Commissioner of Health may contract with any person, institution, or State department for the performance of any or all of the duties of the Chief Medical Examiner. Such services shall be paid for from the biennial budget of the Department of Health. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 20; 1971, No. 33, § 4, eff. July 1, 1971; 2023, No. 53, § 47, eff. June 8, 2023.)

  • § 508. Medical examiners; appointment; term

    (a) The Chief Medical Examiner may appoint regional medical examiners, who shall be licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy geographically distributed throughout the State. A regional medical examiner may be licensed in Vermont or in another state. The regional medical examiners shall serve indefinite terms at the pleasure of the Chief Medical Examiner.

    (b) The Chief Medical Examiner may appoint assistant medical examiners to assist in performing the duties of the Chief Medical Examiner. An assistant medical examiner shall be an individual with extensive experience in the medical profession, which may include medicine, nursing, emergency medical work, or any other medical profession deemed by the Chief Medical Examiner to provide sufficient health care experience, including an individual licensed in a medical profession in another state. An assistant medical examiner shall serve at the pleasure of and be under the direction and supervision of the Chief Medical Examiner. The Chief Medical Examiner may assign assistant medical examiners to work under the supervision of a regional medical examiner. An assistant medical examiner shall not perform autopsies except within his or her defined scope of practice.

    (c) An assistant medical examiner shall meet the training and certification requirements established by the Chief Medical Examiner and approved by the Commissioner. (Amended 1961, No. 43; 1969, No. 128, § 1; 1971, No. 33, § 5, eff. July 1, 1971; 1999, No. 45, § 1.)

  • § 509. Autopsy; payment; fees

    For performing an autopsy, the Chief Medical Examiner and his or her assistants are entitled to their expenses from the State upon giving the Commissioner of Finance and Management their certified voucher. Regional medical examiners and assistant medical examiners are entitled to receive from the State a fee fixed by the Commissioner of Health and approved by the Attorney General, plus their reasonable and necessary expenses. (Amended 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1961, No. 190; 1963, No. 11, eff. March 19, 1963; 1969, No. 265 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 1970; 1971, No. 33, § 6, eff. July 1, 1971; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1987, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.); 1999, No. 45, § 2.)

  • § 510. Removal and retention of pituitary glands

    In the course of any autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner or his or her designee, the Chief Medical Examiner may remove the pituitary gland from the body for use in manufacturing a hormone necessary for the physical growth of persons who are, or may become, hypopituitary dwarfs. However, the pituitary gland shall not be removed or retained under the authority of this section if the person having the right to control disposition of the decedent’s remains notifies the examiner prior to the autopsy that removal of the decedent’s pituitary gland would be contrary to the religious beliefs or personal conviction of such person or of the decedent at the time of death. (Added 1983, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 5, 1984.)

  • § 511. Actions against medical examiners

    Actions taken by any person given authority under this chapter, including an assistant medical examiner, shall be considered to be actions taken by a State employee for the purposes of 3 V.S.A. chapter 29 and 12 V.S.A. chapter 189 if such actions occurred within the scope of such person’s duties. (Added 2017, No. 80, § 16.)