Marsico Supports Passage of Legislation Aimed at Protecting Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritans
HARRISBURG – Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin) is pleased to announce the passage of legislation that would modify Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan civil immunity provisions concerning the use of automated external defibrillators (AED) and emergency medical care provided by non-medical persons:
“I am pleased that Senate Bill 351 passed through the House of Representatives this week,” said Marsico. “I have been extremely supportive of this legislation since it came to the House Judiciary Committee, of which I am the chair. There have been various instances of critical situations where lives could have been saved and weren’t because of the way the law was written. Because of this legislation, citizens who are brave enough to assist those in trouble now don’t have to fear lawsuits.”
This legislation modifies the scope of Good Samaritan immunity for use of an AED as follows:
• The bill states that those who acquire and maintain AEDs – such as businesses,
schools, and other premises owners that might install AEDs at their locations for
possible emergency use – have civil immunity from suit.
• The bill provides that even those persons without formal AED training who use an
AED in good faith enjoy civil immunity. Immunity would not apply in any
circumstance if the person who acquires and maintains an AED, or the person
who uses the AED, commits an intentional act or omission designed to harm or
acts in a grossly negligent manner.
Senate Bill 351 also expands the scope of Good Samaritan civil immunity for non-medical persons, such as persons who are not doctors, nurses, or nurse practitioners. Currently, non-medical persons who provide emergency medical care only enjoy civil immunity if they hold a current certificate in first aid, CPR or similar medical training. This bill disposes of the certificate holding requirement so that civil immunity would cover all non-medical persons who render emergency medical aid in good faith.
Supporters of this legislation include the American Red Cross, Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, the Hospital and Healthsystem of Pennsylvania, Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania, American Heart Association, American College of Cardiologists, College of Emergency Physicians and Pennsylvania Business Council.
Senate Bill 351 has returned to the Senate for final passage.
State Representative Ron Marsico
105th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Autumn Southard