Fla. ruling upholds Good Samaritan immunity

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 17, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A recent Florida appeals court ruling affirmed certain liability protections for physicians under the state's Good Samaritan Act.

Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal found that an anesthesiologist was immune from liability after voluntarily assisting an emergency physician in treating a patient who came to the hospital with a medication reaction. The anesthesiologist, who did not provide on-call services to the ED, responded to the emergency physician's request for help. The patient ultimately died.

The patient's family sued, alleging Good Samaritan protections did not apply because the anesthesiologist was at the hospital attending to a patient. The family further contended that the physician's response to the emergency request should have been expected and not considered voluntary.

Judges in a July 16 opinion disagreed, saying that interpretation would have contradicted the intent of the statute to "encourage health care practitioners to provide necessary emergency care to all persons without fear of litigation."

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn