SB 228: "An Act relating to immunity for free health care services provided by certain health care providers; and providing for an effective date."
00 SENATE BILL NO. 228 01 "An Act relating to immunity for free health care services provided by certain health 02 care providers; and providing for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Volunteer Health Care Provider 07 Immunity Act of 2003. 08 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 11 (1) many of the state's most senior and experienced physicians will be retiring 12 in the next five to 10 years; retiring physicians deciding to reside in Alaska could continue to 13 benefit our local communities by volunteering their medical services; 14 (2) historically, Alaska has had difficulty in attracting and maintaining
01 adequate numbers of qualified physicians; currently, Alaska ranks 49th in the number of 02 physicians per capita, while Alaska's physicians continue to grow older, reaching an average 03 age of 51 years; 04 (3) without civil liability protection, retired physicians would be unwilling to 05 provide free services to the indigent and elderly; 06 (4) 43 states have enacted legislation limiting liability for retired physicians, 07 thus encouraging retired physicians to continue in providing voluntary medical services; and 08 (5) removing liability requirements for retired physicians would be in the best 09 interests of the state; retired physicians unhindered by expensive malpractice insurance would 10 be more inclined to volunteer necessary and important medical services to all Alaskans. 11 * Sec. 3. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 12 Sec. 09.65.290. Immunity for providing free health care services. (a) 13 Except as otherwise provided in this section, a health care provider who provides 14 health care services to another person is not liable for civil damages resulting from an 15 act or omission in providing the health care services if the health care 16 (1) provider is licensed in this state to provide health care services; 17 (2) services provided were within the scope of the health care 18 provider's license; 19 (3) services were provided at a medical clinic, medical facility, 20 nonprofit facility, or facility owned by a municipality, the state, or the United States 21 government; 22 (4) services were provided voluntarily and without pay to the health 23 care provider for the services, except as provided in (b)(2) and (3) of this section; and 24 (5) provider 25 (A) obtains informed consent from the person receiving the 26 health care services as described under AS 09.55.556, except in the case of an 27 emergency; and 28 (B) provides the person receiving the health care services 29 advance written notice of the immunity provided under this section to a health 30 care provider when providing voluntary health care services as described under 31 this section.
01 (b) This section does not preclude 02 (1) liability for civil damages that are the result of gross negligence or 03 reckless or intentional misconduct; 04 (2) a health care provider from receiving payment or being reimbursed 05 for expenses, including travel and room and board while providing voluntary services; 06 (3) a medical clinic or facility from charging for its services. 07 (c) In this section, 08 (1) "health care provider" means a state licensed physician, physician 09 assistant, dentist, dental hygienist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, registered 10 nurse, practical nurse, nurse midwife, advanced nurse practitioner, naturopath, 11 physical therapist, occupational therapist, marital and family therapist, psychologist, 12 psychological associate, licensed clinical social worker, or certified direct-entry 13 midwife; 14 (2) "health care services" means services received by an individual in 15 order to treat or to prevent illness or injury. 16 * Sec. 4. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 17 read: 18 APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to a cause of action that accrues on or after the 19 effective date of this Act. 20 * Sec. 5. This Act takes effect July 1, 2003.