Can Good Samaritans be sued for providing medical help?

A controversial ruling in California is making people think twice before stopping to help.

California’s Supreme Court has ruled that “the state’s ‘Good Samaritan’ law providing tort immunity for rescuers applies only to medical personnel providing medical help at an emergency scene, and not to civilians.”

But are physicians really protected? This doctor cites colleagues who are “afraid to stop at the scene of an accident and render aid for fear of being sued.”

What about doctors who are not versed in emergency care? Should radiologists and pathologists be comforted by the protections offered in Good Samaritan laws?

I’m on the side of GruntDoc. Trying to add nuance to the language of Good Samaritan laws will only add confusion, increasing the odds that many who can help will simply drive on by.


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