State laws and regulations that affect your medical practice

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

The purpose of Texas’ Good Samaritan Statute is to offer protection to a person who voluntarily administers emergency care. It lowers the standard of care in order to encourage physicians and other emergency personnel to render aid in emergency situations by waiving liability for acts constituting ordinary negligence. The Statute provides in relevant part:

A person who in good faith administers emergency care, including using an automated external defibrillator, is not liable in civil damages for an act performed during the emergency unless the act is willfully or wantonly negligent. This does not apply to care administered: (1) for or in expectation of remuneration, provided that being legally entitled to receive remuneration for the emergency care rendered shall not determine whether or not the care was administered for or in anticipation of remuneration; or (2) by a person who was at the scene of the emergency because he or a person he represents as an agent was soliciting business or seeking to perform a service for remuneration.

V.T.C.A. § 74.151

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Updated 2008