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Implications of Good Samaritan Laws for Physicians

Implications of Good Samaritan Laws for Physicians

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Good Samaritan laws are designed to encourage individuals, including physicians, to gratuitously render medical care in emergency situations. Through these laws, immunity from civil liability is provided to physicians who act in good faith to provide emergency care gratis. Historically, emergency care involved medical assistance given to persons in motor vehicle crashes or other emergency situations in which bystanders were present. Protection of physicians from allegations of negligence was a tactic of the legislative and judicial systems to encourage active clinical participation, rather than cautious nonparticipation, in emergency care.