fertility fraud; civil; criminal action
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
SENATE BILL 1237
amending title 12, chapter 5.1, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 12-567; relating to health care actions.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 12, chapter 5.1, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 12-567, to read:
12-567. Civil fertility fraud; liability; statute of limitations; definitions
A. A woman who gives birth to a child after being treated for infertility by a physician, the spouse of the woman, the surviving spouse of the woman or the child born as a result of the actions of a physician described in this section may bring an action against a licensed health care provider who knowingly or intentionally treated the woman for infertility by using the licensed health care provider's own spermatozoon or ovum without the patient's informed written consent to treatment using that spermatozoon or ovum.
B. A donor of human reproductive material may bring an action against a licensed health care provider who treats a patient for infertility by using human reproductive material donated by the donor and who knows or reasonably should have known that the donor's human reproductive material was used either:
1. Without the donor's consent.
2. In a manner or to an extent other than that to which the donor consented.
C. A plaintiff who prevails in an action under this section is entitled to reasonable attorney fees, the costs of the fertility treatment if the action is brought under subsection A of this section, and either:
1. Compensatory and punitive damages.
2. Liquidated damages of $10,000.
D. A person who brings an action under subsection A of this section has a separate cause of action for each child born as the result of the fraudulent fertility treatment. A person who brings an action under subsection B of this section has a separate cause of action for each individual who received fertility treatment with the donor's human reproductive material.
E. Notwithstanding any other law and Except as provided in subsection F of this section, an action for civil fertility fraud must be commenced not later than:
1. Ten years after the eighteenth birthday of the child.
2. If paragraph 1 of this subsection does not apply, twenty years after the procedure was performed.
F. An action for civil fertility fraud that would otherwise be barred under subsection E of this section may be commenced not later than five years after the earliest of the date that:
1. The person first discovers evidence sufficient to bring an action against the defendant through dna analysis.
2. The person first becomes aware of the existence of a recording that provides evidence sufficient to bring an action against the defendant.
3. The defendant confesses to the offense.
G. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Human reproductive material" means a human spermatozoon or ovum or a human organism at any stage of development from fertilized ovum to embryo.
2. "Physician" means a person who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17.
APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR MARCH 24, 2021.
FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE MARCH 24, 2021.