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State laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

1. What is the Good Samaritan Law and how does it affect a physician who renders care in an emergency situation?

Connecticut’s Good Samaritan Law provides that a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery or dentistry in Connecticut, or members of the same professions licensed to practice in any other state of the United States; a person licensed as a registered nurse or certified as a licensed practical nurse; a medical technician or any person operating a cardiopulmonary resuscitator or an automatic external defibrillator; or a person trained in accordance with the standards set forth by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association, who, voluntarily and gratuitously and other than in the ordinary course of such person’s employment or practice, renders emergency medical or professional assistance to a person in need thereof, shall not be liable to such person assisted for civil damages for any personal injuries which result from acts or omissions by such person in rendering the emergency care, which may constitute ordinary negligence.

Immunity from civil liability does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, willful or wanton negligence.

For purposes of this law, an “automatic external defibrillator” means a device that: (1) is used to administer an electric shock through the chest wall to the heart; (2) contains internal decision-making electronics, microcomputers or special software that allows it to interpret physiologic signals, make medical diagnosis and, if necessary, apply therapy; (3) guides the user through the process of using the device by audible or visible prompts; and (4) does not require the user to employ any discretion or judgment in its use.

C.G.S.A. §52-557b

Copyright © Kern Augustine Conroy and Schoppmann, P.C. Used with permission.

Updated 2008

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