Bill to protect volunteer medical professionals receives governor’s signature
From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – A measure to protect volunteer health-care professionals from civil damages arising from their work has been signed into law.
In March, state Sen. Ira Silverstein, D–Chicago, proposed Senate Bill 1498, which would include members of the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, a federal organization, into the Good Samaritan Act. Gov. Rauner signed the bill into law on Aug. 18.
“These individuals are willing to administer medical services free of any charges or fees; they should not have to worry about civil liabilities in response to the care they give,” Silverstein said. “We can’t punish these folks who are offering their time purely for the benefit of others.”
The Good Samaritan Act provides that medical or health-care professionals who administer treatment, diagnosis, advice or services as part of a free medical clinic will be not be liable for civil damages as a result of their treatment.
Under Silverstein’s measure, volunteers with the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps will be included into the definition of health professionals that would be exempt from civil charges. The Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of over 200,000 volunteers that focuses on helping their local communities remain healthy and prepared for responding to emergencies.