News From the College

Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act introduced in Congress


 

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) on April 25 introduced the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act (H.R. 1733) – legislation that would ensure that health professionals who want to provide voluntary care in response to a federally declared disaster are able to do so without worries about potential liability. Rapid medical response in a disaster can greatly decrease loss of life and improve outcomes for patients who desperately need care. However, when a disaster strikes, the needs of victims often overwhelm the services that are available locally. The medical profession has a long history of stepping forward to assist disaster victims; however, the current Volunteer Protection Act, which was enacted specifically to encourage such actions, fails to address the issue of liability protections for health care providers who cross state lines to aid disaster victims. H.R. 1733 attends to this shortcoming. For more information, contact the American College of Surgeons advocacy staff at ahp@facs.org.

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