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In today’s lawsuit-riddled society, members of the general public are often reluctant to try and save someone’s life in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest emergency because they are afraid of being sued. The resulting delay in emergency care could mean the difference between the life and death of a victim. Good Samaritan Laws came into existence in order to protect people from liability during rescue attempts and encourage them to help out without fear of being sued. Every state has a Good Samaritan law or act, but details vary from one jurisdiction to another. Learn more about Good Samaritan laws in your state by speaking with a local legal expert or attorney. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.
Good Samaritan laws are meant to protect those who come to the aid of medical emergency victims for no other reason than kindness. In some cases, Good Samaritan laws even require someone at the scene of an emergency to offer assistance. In Vermont and Minnesota, for example, not helping an accident or crime victim is punishable by law.
Good Samaritan laws are designed to protect rescuers who aid a victim to the best of their ability during a medical emergency. Good Samaritan laws typically only help rescuers who act without any expectation of reward. Paid rescuers are usually held accountable for their mistakes since they’re expected to do their jobs correctly. Under Good Samaritan laws in some states, medical personnel, such as doctors, nurses, and medical responders, are also protected as long as they follow normal procedures and are providing free emergency medical assistance outside their normal employment or practice.
Good Samaritan Laws in PA, NY, NJ, and CT
EMC provides CPR, AED, and first aid training nationwide, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Washington. In these states, any person with CPR training acting in good faith and with reasonable care who voluntarily and without expectation of monetary compensation renders emergency treatment at the scene of an accident shall not be liable for damages, injuries, or death alleged to have occurred as a result of such emergency treatment. The immunity doesn’t apply to gross, willful, or wanton negligence.
Good Samaritan laws in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey also protect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who voluntarily render medical assistance without expectation of monetary compensation outside their normal employment or practice. Additionally, the State of New York provides Good Samaritan protection to a certified first responder, emergency medical technician, or advanced emergency medical technician, whether or not he or she is acting on behalf of an ambulance service or advanced life support first response service.
In Connecticut, Good Samaritan laws also protect the following individuals if they have received first aid training from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, the National Ski Patrol, the Department of Health and Addiction Services, or any director of health: police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, members of a ski patrol, conservation officers, ambulance personnel, Department of Environmental Protection patrol and police officers, teachers and other school personnel, and railroad employees.
In order for any person to receive the benefit of the exemption from civil liability in Pennsylvania, the law states that he must be the holder of a current certificate evidencing the successful completion of a course in first aid, advanced life saving, or basic life support sponsored by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or equivalent. Furthermore, the rescuer must perform techniques and employ procedures consistent with the nature and level of the training for which the certificate was issued.
Why Doing Something Is Better Than Doing Nothing
People shouldn’t be afraid to lend a hand during an emergency. Performing CPR on a sudden cardiac arrest victim might be frightening, but it can’t be more life threatening than sudden cardiac arrest itself. According to the American Heart Association, if bystander CPR isn’t provided, a sudden cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival falls 7 to 10 percent for every minute of delay until defibrillation.
It’s far more important to act quickly and follow your training than worry about making mistakes because CPR given immediately by a confident rescuer is often the only way to save a life. If you’d like to schedule a CPR class for your employees, in order to better prepare for medical emergencies, call EMC at 1-800-695-5655 or fill out our online contact form today.
*The information in this blog article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
About EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC
EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC is a national distributor of leading AED brands, including Cardiac Science, Defibtech, HeartSine, Philips, and ZOLL. In addition, we offer full AED management programs.
Founded by New York CPR expert Stephanie Duehring, EMC CPR & Safety Training, LLC offers American Heart Association, ASHI, ECSI, and Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid classes. We utilize a hands-on learning approach that leads to high comprehension and retention levels among students. The company offers on-site training for businesses nationwide, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston