MPLA: Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act Would Offer Protections for Medical Volunteers and Preserve Patient Access to Care

October 7, 2021 by matray

Editor’s Note: The Medical Professional Liability Association (MPL Association) president and CEO Brian K. Atchinson issued the following statement about the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2021 (S. 2941/H.R. 5239) that was introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy, MD, and Angus King as well as Representatives Raul Ruiz, MD, and Larry Bucshon, MD:

“Over the past year and a half, healthcare professionals around the nation have shown their selfless dedication to provide care for an overwhelming wave of COVID-19 patients. During the pandemic and in the wake of recent natural disasters, physicians, nurses, and others have stepped in to volunteer their medical services, sometimes crossing state lines to offer access to quality, timely medical care. The current patchwork of state laws designed to protect medical volunteers from unwarranted medical liability lawsuits are ambiguous and inconsistent, especially when applied to large-scale disasters. Unfortunately, current federal law also falls short in providing our frontline workers with the predictability and peace of mind that they need when responding to calamities. Consequently, vital medical volunteers are deterred from providing essential services at those times when their help is most needed.

The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2021 would provide civil liability protections to licensed healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and skills in times of greatest crisis. The bill also would preserve victims’ access to compensation if a volunteer’s egregious conduct results in injury.

We applaud Senator Cassidy, Senator King, Representative Ruiz, and Representative Bucshon for introducing this measure. The MPL Association looks forward to working with its allies on Capitol Hill and the medical community to build bipartisan support in Congress and advocate for the enactment of this critical piece of legislation.”

More information on the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2021 is available here.

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