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Good Samaritans

Posted: February 6, 2014 4:05 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

A bill currently before the S.C. General Assembly would provide immunity from lawsuits to medical personnel who are treating people for free. It’s an extension of the state’s Good Samaritan statute, which protects doctors who stop to help accident victims, and it makes perfect sense. Good Samaritan laws have been passed all over the country, and they allow physicians to provide services at accident scenes without having to worry about being sued for malpractice.

Some doctors and dentists have expressed apprehension about the threat of such suits when they provide services at free medical events. Such sessions are often held throughout the state, and they are needed, for there are many people right here in Kershaw County and across the Palmetto State who can’t afford medical care. But in donating their time, medical personnel should be assured that they aren’t going to be sued by some unscrupulous patient looking for a quick payday.

This bill appears to have lots of upside, primarily the encouragement of doctors to offer their services on a volunteer basis, and little downside. It should breeze through the General Assembly.


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