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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-227


Notice of Comments Issued

[32 Pa.B. 848]

   Section 5(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(d)) provides that the designated standing committees may issue comments within 20 days of the close of the public comment period, and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (Commission) may issue comments within 10 days of the close of the committees' comment period. The Commission's Comments are based upon the criteria contained in section 5.1(h) and (i) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(h) and (i)).

   The Commission issued comments on the following proposed regulation. The agency must consider these comments in preparing the final-form regulation. The final-form regulation must be submitted by the date indicated.

Reg. No. Agency/Title Issued Deadline
#16A-497 State Board of Medicine
   Sexual Misconduct
1/24/02 12/24/03
(31 Pa.B. 6453 (November 22, 2001))

State Board of Medicine Regulation No. 16A-497
Sexual Misconduct
January 24, 2002

   We submit for consideration the following objections and recommendations regarding this regulation. Each objection or recommendation includes a reference to the criteria in the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(h) and (i)) which have not been met. The State Board of Medicine (Board) must respond to these Comments when it submits the final-form regulation. If the final-form regulation is not delivered by December 24, 2003, the regulation will be deemed withdrawn.

1.  Section 16.110. Sexual Misconduct.--Clarity.


   As proposed, § 16.110 contains both definitions and substantive regulatory provisions. In order to be consistent with regulatory framework existing in Chapter 16, the Board should create two separate sections. The definitions should remain in § 16.110. The substantive provisions should be placed in a separate section following the definitions.

Subsection (a)

   This subsection defines ''immediate family member.'' It is unclear if the phrase ''other family member'' contained in the definition includes a relationship by blood and by marriage or law. In addition, the inclusion of the phrase, ''with whom a patient resides'' in the definition limits the scope of this regulation. Finally, the definition does not address a patient's relationships with nonfamily members such as ''significant others.''

Subsection (b)

   This subsection refers to ''Board regulated practitioner.'' The Board should define ''Board regulated practitioner'' by adding the term to the definitions section and referencing section 422.2 of the Medical Practice Act (63 P. S. § 422.2).

Subsections (b), (c) and (d)

   These subsections include the phrase ''and subjects the practitioner to disciplinary action.'' Where can the disciplinary action be found? A crossreference to the appropriate citation for disciplinary action should be provided in the subsections.

Subsection (d)

   The Board uses the phrase ''mental health disorder'' in this subsection. The meaning of this phrase is vague. The regulation should either define or reference the categories of mental health disorders. For instance, the Board could refer to patients who are diagnosed under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders--IV (DSM-IV) or subsequent publications.

2.  Behavioral examples.--Clarity.

   A commentator noted that the proposed regulation is too vague and provided several scenarios in which innocent behavior would be in violation of the regulation. Given this possibility, has the Board considered providing examples of the type of behavior it considers inappropriate?


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-227. Filed for public inspection February 8, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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