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Mississippi

 "Medical assistance" means aid provided to a person experiencing or believed to be experiencing a drug overdose by a health care professional who is licensed, registered, or certified under the laws of this state and who, acting within the lawful scope of practice, may provide diagnosis, treatment, or emergency services relative to the overdose.

 "Seeks medical assistance" means accesses or assists in accessing the E-911 system or otherwise contacts or assists in contacting law enforcement or a poison control center or provides care to a person experiencing or believed to be experiencing a drug overdose while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance to aid the person.

(3) (a) Any person who in good faith seeks medical assistance for someone who is experiencing a drug overdose shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation if there is evidence that the person is under the influence of a controlled substance or in possession of a controlled substance as referenced in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(b) Any person who is experiencing a drug overdose and, in good faith, seeks medical assistance or is the subject of a request for medical assistance shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for a drug violation if there is evidence that the person is under the influence of a controlled substance or in possession of a controlled substance as referenced in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(c) A person shall also not be subject to, if related to the seeking of medical assistance:

(i) Penalties for a violation of a permanent or temporary protective order or restraining order;

(ii) Sanctions for a violation of a condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole based on a drug violation; or

(iii) Forfeiture of property pursuant to Section 41-29-153 or 41-29-176 for a drug violation, except that prima facie contraband shall be subject to forfeiture.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed:

(a) To limit the admissibility of any evidence in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a crime with regard to a defendant who does not qualify for the protections of subsection (3) of this section or with regard to other crimes committed by a person who otherwise qualifies for protection pursuant to subsection (3) of this section;

(b) To limit any seizure of evidence or contraband otherwise permitted by law; and

(c) To limit or abridge the authority of a law enforcement officer to detain or take into custody a person in the course of an investigation or to effectuate an arrest for any offense except as provided in subsection (3) of this section.

Louisiana

§1731. Gratuitous service at scene of emergency; emergency care at hospitals; limitation of liability

            A.(1) A physician, surgeon, or physician assistant licensed under the provisions of Chapter 15 of this Title, his professional medical corporation chartered under the provisions of R.S. 12:901 et seq., or his limited liability company, or a nurse licensed under the provisions of Chapter 11 of this Title who in good faith gratuitously renders emergency care or services at the scene of an emergency, to a person in need thereof shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission in rendering such care or services or as a result of any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the person involved in said emergency, unless the damage or injury was caused by willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

            (2)(a) A physician, on-call physician, or surgeon or oral and maxillofacial surgeon, or his professional medical or dental corporation or limited liability company or nurse, licensed or qualified as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, or an intern, or resident of a public or private hospital or other medical healthcare facility licensed in this state, who in good faith responds to an imminent life-threatening situation or emergency within the hospital or facility and whose actual duty in the hospital or facility did not require a response to an emergency situation shall not be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission in rendering the emergency care or service or from failure to provide or arrange for further medical care or treatment of the person involved, unless the damage or injury was caused by willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

            (b) The limitation of liability provided in Subparagraph (2)(a) of this Subsection shall not apply when, prior to the advent of the imminent life-threatening situation or emergency, the physician or surgeon or his professional medical corporation or limited liability company was a contemporaneously attending or consulting physician or surgeon to the person involved or when the nurse was a contemporaneously attending nurse to the person involved.

            (c) An on-call physician or oral and maxillofacial surgeon who gratuitously attends, assists, or treats a patient who comes into an emergency room or department, including any appropriate standard of care treatment necessitated by the patient's emergent condition, shall not be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission in rendering the emergency care or service to a patient, with whom there has been no prior physician-patient relationship or from failure to provide or arrange for further medical care or treatment to such patient unless the damage or injury was caused by willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence.

            (d) For purposes of this Subsection, "on-call physician" means a physician, or oral and maxillofacial surgeon or his professional medical or dental corporation or limited liability company, who is not primarily employed or contracted by the hospital or other licensed medical healthcare facility to treat emergency room or department patients, but whose actual duties may include treating emergency room or department patients due to the requirements of 42 CFR 489.24 or R.S. 40:2113.4 to respond to the emergency room or department on an on-call basis and as a condition of the privilege or ability to practice his profession within the hospital or facility.

            B. Any physician, surgeon, or member of the medical profession who is not licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana but who holds a valid license to practice medicine in any other state of the United States who gratuitously renders care or services at the scene of an emergency as herein provided shall not be charged with violation of the Louisiana Medical Practice Act.

National Institute for Health

The premise underlying the good Samaritan law traces its origin to the ancient biblical parable, ultimately yielding the definition of a good Samaritan as an individual who intervenes to assist another individual without prior notion or responsibility or promise of compensation.[1]

Good Samaritan laws have their basis on the idea that consensus agreement favors good "public policy" to limit liability for those who voluntarily perform care and rescue in emergency situations.  It is well known that medical emergencies outside of the umbrella "medical setting" or "clinical environment" are common.[2]  Thus, in theory and principle, we are improved as a society if the potential rescuers (i.e., the good Samaritans) are solely concerned about helping a person in need as opposed to worrying about the possible liability associated with assisting their fellow man or woman. 

The general principle of most versions of the good Samaritan law provides protection from claims of negligence for those who provide care without expectation of payment. The good Samaritan laws also further public policy because few jurisdictions have created an affirmative duty for a medical professional to provide care in the absence of an established patient relationship. Each state has its version(s) of the law, and federal laws also exist for individual circumstances.

It is worth noting that other countries besides the United States of America (USA) have differing laws, opinions, and regulations regarding the good Samaritan scenarios. Most have no legal obligation to treat.  Many western countries recognize the moral duty to stop and render treatment rather than a legal requirement.[3] In the USA, all 50 states have good Samaritan laws. Provisions of these laws have minor variations from state to state.[2]  The tort system in the United States is unique; therefore, the concept of liability differs from country to country.[4]

In legal terms, a good Samaritan is anyone who renders aid in an emergency to an injured or ill person.  Generally, if the victim is unconscious or unresponsive, a good Samaritan can help them on the grounds of implied consent.  If the person is conscious and can reasonably respond, a would-be rescuer should ask permission first. 

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a good Samaritan law, in addition to Federal laws for specific circumstances. Many good Samaritan laws were initially written to protect physicians from liability when rendering care outside their usual clinical setting. The details of good Samaritan laws vary by jurisdiction, including who is protected (physicians, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders) from liability and under what circumstances.  In general, these laws do not protect medical personnel from liability if acting in the course of their usual profession.

Good Samaritan laws give liability protection against "ordinary negligence." Ordinary negligence is the failure to act as a reasonably prudent person. It is the failure to exercise such care as the great mass of humanity ordinarily applies under the same or similar circumstances. 

These laws do not protect against "gross negligence" or willful actions.  Gross negligence is a conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both.

For good Samaritan laws to be applicable for physicians (and other health care providers), certain conditions must apply.  There must exist no duty to treat.   For this reason, this protection does not typically apply to on-call physicians.[5] Therefore, any physician with a pre-existing relationship with the patient cannot be considered a good Samaritan. Another exclusion to almost all state statutes is that the physician or other health care provider providing aid cannot receive compensation for their care.  If one receives any remuneration for helping in rendering emergency care, they can no longer be considered a good Samaritan, and therefore, the protections no longer apply. 

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