PENNSYLVANIA - GOOD SAMARITAN ACT

March 27, 2008

Pennsylvania state laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

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

Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Act was enacted to encourage health care practitioners to provide necessary emergency care to all persons without fear of litigation and provides as follows:

Any physician or any other practitioner of the healing arts or any registered nurse, licensed by any state, who happens by chance upon the scene of an emergency or who arrives on the scene of an emergency by reason of serving on an emergency call panel or similar committee of a county medical society or who is called to the scene of an emergency by the police or other duly constituted officers of a government unit or who is present when an emergency occurs and who, in good faith, renders emergency care at the scene of the emergency, shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such physician or practitioner or registered nurse in rendering the emergency care, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the person receiving emergency care.

“Good faith” shall include, but is not limited to, a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the rendering of care should not be postponed until the patient is hospitalized.

42 Pa. C.S.A. § 8331

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Updated 2008