431.058. 1. As used in this section, the following terms mean:
(1) "Child", a child less than eighteen years of age;
(2) "Health care provider", a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery by the state board of registration for the healing arts, a person who holds a temporary permit to practice medicine and surgery issued by the state board of registration for the healing arts, a person engaged in a postgraduate training program in medicine and surgery approved by the state board of registration for the healing arts, a medical care facility licensed by the department of health and senior services, a health maintenance organization issued a certificate of authority by the director of the department of insurance, financial institutions and professional registration, a licensed professional nurse, a licensed practical nurse and a registered physician's assistant. The term "health care provider" shall also include the following entities: a professional corporation organized pursuant to the professional corporation law of Missouri by persons who are health care providers, a Missouri limited liability company organized for the purpose of rendering professional services by its members who are health care providers, a partnership of persons who are health care providers or a Missouri not-for-profit corporation organized for the purpose of rendering professional services by persons who are health care providers;
(a) A child's parent by birth or adoption;
(b) A child's legal guardian; or
(c) Any person who under court order is authorized to give consent for a child.
2. A parent may delegate in writing the parent's authority to consent to the immunization of a child to another adult.
3. Subject to the provisions of subsections 3 to 6 of this section, any adult may consent to the immunization of a child if a parent is not reasonably available and the authority to consent is not denied under subsection 4 of this section.
4. A person may not consent to the immunization of a child under subsection 3 of this section if:
(1) The person has actual knowledge that the parent has expressly refused to give consent to the immunization; or
(2) The parent has told the person that the person may not consent to the immunization of the child or, in the case of a written authorization, has withdrawn the authorization in writing.
5. For purposes of this section, a parent is not reasonably available if the location of the parent or legal guardian is unknown and could not be ascertained, despite diligent searching.
6. A person authorized to consent to the immunization of a child under the provisions of subsections 3 to 6 of this section shall confirm in writing that the parent is not reasonably available, and the written confirmation shall be included in the child's medical record.
7. A grandparent, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or stepparent of a child who is the primary caregiver of a child and who may consent to the immunization of the child pursuant to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section may delegate in writing the authority to consent to immunization of the child to another adult.
8. A health care provider may rely on a document from another state, territory or country that contains substantially the same information as is required in any immunization consent rules and regulations of the department of health and senior services if the document is presented for consent by a person as authorized pursuant to the provisions of this section.
9. A person who consents to immunization of a child under this section shall provide the health care provider with sufficient and accurate health information about the child for whom the consent is given and, if necessary, sufficient and accurate health information about the child's family to enable the person providing the consent and the health care provider to determine adequately the risks and benefits inherent in the proposed immunization and determine whether the immunization is advisable.
10. The responsibility of a health care provider to provide information to a person consenting to the immunization of a child as provided by this section is the same as the health care provider's responsibility to a parent.
11. Except for acts of willful misconduct or gross negligence, a person who consents to the immunization of a child as provided by this section shall not be liable for damages arising from any such immunization administered by a person authorized by law to administer immunizations in this state.
(L. 1996 H.B. 904, et al. § 2)
Missouri General Assembly