Bacon And Hite To Introduce Bill To Help Ensure Ohioans Have Access To Quality Emergency Care
Bill would limit physicians' liability when responding to an emergency
March 22, 2011
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Columbus - 
State Senators Kevin Bacon (R - Minerva Park) and Cliff Hite (R - Findlay)  announced today they will introduce legislation granting limited liability to physicians  who provide emergency medical services, ensuring they will be able to provide the best  care possible to those in need without fear of being sued. Similar legislation was  introduced and passed in the Ohio Senate by former Senator Steve Buehrer during the last  General Assembly.  

"Physicians should not be in fear of prosecution for simply providing care to those who  need it," Bacon said. "They should be focused on treating people and saving lives, and  this bill will give them and other medical personnel the protection they need when doing  their jobs in a crisis situation." 

The bill would grant civil liability to doctors and other health care professionals in  compliance with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, which  requires medical professionals to care for patients in an emergency situation, regardless  of their ability to pay or their insurance status. Current law already grants qualified civil  immunity to physicians working in free clinics, and EMT's and paramedics performing  pre-hospital emergency care. 

"We need to protect the doctors who may have to make life or death decisions in seconds,  without the benefit of knowing the patient or having their medical background," Hite  said. "If we leave them open to being sued for their efforts, it could hamper our ability to  ensure that everyone has access to high-quality medical care in the event of an  emergency."   The bill will be formally introduced in the coming days. 
For more information, please contact Laurel Ullman in Senator Bacon's office at (614) 466-8064 or Andy Bowsher in Senator Hughes' office at (614) 466-5981.
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