Blunt Signs Law to Protect MO Families

1 decade 1 year 1 month ago Monday, June 11 2007 Jun 11, 2007 Monday, June 11, 2007 8:29:31 AM CDT June 11, 2007 in News

According to a news release from the governor, he called for this kind of legislation in his State of the State address.

Rep. Tom Dempsey sponsored House Bill 579. It provides Missouri doctors, nurses and other licensed health care professionals, serving as Good Samaritans, liability protection when assisting Missourians during a declared disaster. The legislation also extends these same protections to licensed health care professionals from other states who volunteer to help Missourians during emergency disaster situations.

"Missourians and others across our nation have shown their generosity when it comes to helping their neighbors during their times of need," Gov. Blunt said. "Health care professionals who offer their time and expertise to help our neighbors during an emergency should not fear frivolous lawsuits. This legislation also enhances our ability to efficiently and effectively respond to Missourians needs during an emergency."

"Passage of this bill is an important measure for health care workers across the state," said Debbie Mays, BJC director of emergency preparedness. "In the event of a disaster, the community depends on the rapid response of the health care community, and House Bill 579 helps relieve workers of liability concerns in a time of crisis."

The legislation also allows the Department of Health and Senior Services to recruit, train and accept the services of citizen volunteers to give out medication under the supervision of a licensed health care professional.

In order to increase efficiency in times of emergency, the legislation also moves the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) from the authority of the Adjutant General to the authority of the Department of Public Safety Director. The move is one that was recommended by the governor's State Government Review Commission.

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