Title 15, Chapter 11, Section 15
(a) Notwithstanding Code Section 15-11-45 or any other provision of law, a physician, licensed to practice medicine in the State of Georgia in accordance with Article 2 of Chapter 34 of Title 43, who is treating a child may take or retain temporary protective custody of the child, without a court order and without the consent of a parent, guardian, or custodian, provided that:
(1) The physician has reasonable cause to believe that the child
is in a circumstance or condition that presents an imminent danger
to the child's life or health as a result of suspected abuse or
(2) There is not sufficient time for a court order to be obtained
under this article for temporary custody of the child before the
child may be removed from the presence of the physician.
(b) A physician detaining a child in temporary custody shall:
(1) Make reasonable and diligent efforts to inform the parents,
guardian, or custodian of the child of the whereabouts of the
(2) As soon as possible, make a report of the suspected abuse or neglect which caused him or her to take temporary custody of the child, as required by subsection (e) of Code Section 19-7-5, and inform the child welfare agency designated by the Department of Human Resources to which such report is made that the child has been detained in temporary custody as provided in this Code section; and
(3) Not later than 24 hours after the child is detained in
(A) Contact a juvenile court intake officer as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-47, and inform such intake officer that the child is in imminent danger to his or her life or health as a result of suspected abuse or neglect; or
(B) Contact a law enforcement officer who shall take the child into custody and promptly bring the child before a juvenile court intake officer as provided in Code Sections 15-11-47 and 15-11-48.
(c) A child who meets the requirements for inpatient admission shall
be retained in the hospital or institution until such time as the
child is medically ready for discharge. Upon notification by the
hospital or institution to the department that a child who is not
eligible for inpatient admission or who is medically ready for
discharge has been taken into custody by a physician in accordance
with subsection (b) of this Code section, provided that the child
has been placed in the custody of the Department of Human Resources,
the department shall take physical custody of the child within six
hours of being notified.
(d) If the intake officer determines that the child is to be detained, in accordance with Code Sections 15-11-46 and 15-11-48 and subsection (a) of Code Section 15-11-49 and the court orders that the child be detained in the legal custody of the Department of Human Resources, acting by and through any of the county departments of family and children services, then:
(1) If the child remains in the physical care of the physician,
the department shall take physical possession of the child within
six hours of being notified by the physician, unless the child
meets the criteria for admission to a hospital, or other medical
institution or facility where he or she has been detained in the
temporary custody by a physician; or
(2) If the child has been brought before the juvenile court by a
law enforcement officer, the department shall promptly take
physical possession of the child.
(e) If the child is not released, then the court shall notify the child's parents, guardian, or other custodian, the physician, and the Department of Human Resources of the detention hearing which is to be held within 72 hours as provided in subsection (c) of Code Section 15-11-49.
(f) If the intake officer determines that the child should not be detained, the child shall be released pursuant to the provisions set forth in Code Section 15-11-49.
(g) If after the detention hearing the child is not released, the physician shall file the petition required by subsection (e) of Code Section 15-11-49 in accordance with this article, provided that such physician continues to believe that the child's life or health is in danger as a result of suspected abuse or neglect.
(h) Any hospital or physician authorized and acting in good faith
and in accordance with acceptable medical practice in the treatment
of a child under this Code section shall have immunity from any
liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or
imposed as a result of taking or failing to take any action,
pursuant to this Code section. This Code section shall not be
construed as imposing any additional duty not already otherwise
imposed by law.