Using NY, Conn as models, AMA seeks to alleviate nationwide liability during pandemic response

The AMA, on Monday, April 20, wrote a letter to the National Governors Association (AGA) asking that the association take measures to alleviate physician and other health care workers’ liability claims while caring for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To help alleviate this burden, we encourage Governors to take care of these front line physicians and health care professionals by adopting health care emergency response protections so that they can continue providing care to patients without fear of what the future holds,” wrote James L. Madara, MD, Executive vice president, and CEO of the AMA.

Moreover, these protections need to be extended to those not in frontline care for Covid-19 patients, such as those who are following federal, state, and local Covid-19 guidelines to delay elective and non-urgent surgeries and procedures, Madara wrote, noting that these delays could cause unintentional stress and harms.

He noted that New York and Connecticut are good examples for the rest of the nation to follow in this regard.

“…Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order providing civil immunity for any injury or death alleged to have been sustained directly as a result of an act or omission by such medical professional in the course of providing medical services in support of the State’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. In subsequent legislation (A.9506-B/S.7506-B), New York’s legislature provided additional protections for care provided pursuant to state or federal directives. Similarly, Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont extended immunity for civil liability for any injury or death alleged to have been sustained because of the individual or health care facility’s acts or omissions undertaken in good faith while providing health care services in support of the state’s Covid-19 response,” Madara wrote.

Candace Hoffmann, Managing Editor, BreakingMED™

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