Penal Code Section 11171


Staff member
11171. (a) (1) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that
adequate protection of victims of child physical abuse or neglect has
been hampered by the lack of consistent and comprehensive medical
(2) Enhancing examination procedures, documentation, and evidence
collection relating to child abuse or neglect will improve the
investigation and prosecution of child abuse or neglect as well as
other child protection efforts.
(B) The agency or agencies designated by the Director of Finance
pursuant to Section 13820 shall, in cooperation with the State
Department of Social Services, the Department of Justice, the
California Association of Crime Lab Directors, the California State
District Attorneys Association, the California State Sheriffs
Association, the California Peace Officers Association, the
California Medical Association, the California Police Chiefs'
Association, child advocates, the California Medical Training Center,
child protective services, and other appropriate experts, establish
medical forensic forms, instructions, and examination protocol for
victims of child physical abuse or neglect using as a model the form
and guidelines developed pursuant to Section 19823.5.
© The form shall include, but not be limited to, a place for
notation concerning each of the following:
(1) Any notification of injuries or any report of suspected child
physical abuse or neglect to law enforcement authorities or children'
s protective services, in accordance with existing reporting
(2) Addressing relevant consent issues, if indicated.
(3) The taking of a patient history of child physical abuse or
neglect that includes other relevant medical history.
(4) The performance of a physical examination for evidence of
child physical abuse or neglect.
(5) The collection or documentation of any physical evidence of
child physical abuse or neglect, including any recommended
photographic procedures.
(6) The collection of other medical or forensic specimens,
including drug ingestion or toxication, as indicated.
(7) Procedures for the preservation and disposition of evidence.
(8) Complete documentation of medical forensic exam findings with
recommendations for diagnostic studies, including blood tests and
(9) An assessment as to whether there are findings that indicate
physical abuse or neglect.
© The forms shall become part of the patient's medical record
pursuant to guidelines established by the advisory committee of the
agency or agencies designated by the Director of Finance pursuant to
Section 13820 and subject to the confidentiality laws pertaining to
the release of a medical forensic examination records.
(D) The forms shall be made accessible for use on the Internet.

11171.2. (a) A physician and surgeon or dentist or their agents
and by their direction may take skeletal X-rays of the child without
the consent of the child's parent or guardian, but only for purposes
of diagnosing the case as one of possible child abuse or neglect and
determining the extent of the child abuse or neglect.
(B) Neither the physician-patient privilege nor the
psychotherapist-patient privilege applies to information reported
pursuant to this article in any court proceeding or administrative

11171.5. (a) If a peace officer, in the course of an investigation
of child abuse or neglect, has reasonable cause to believe that the
child has been the victim of physical abuse, the officer may apply to
a magistrate for an order directing that the victim be X-rayed
without parental consent.
Any X-ray taken pursuant to this subdivision shall be administered
by a physician and surgeon or dentist or their agents.
(B) With respect to the cost of an X-ray taken by the county
coroner or at the request of the county coroner in suspected child
abuse or neglect cases, the county may charge the parent or legal
guardian of the child-victim the costs incurred by the county for the
© No person who administers an X-ray pursuant to this section
shall be entitled to reimbursement from the county for any
administrative cost that exceeds 5 percent of the cost of the X-ray.