Good Samaritan measure helps people who help people

Free infectious-disease testing would be offered individuals who put lives on line
Feb 19, 2014

Good Samaritans are people who, by definition, have already put their safety at risk. State Rep. June Robinson believes they shouldn't also have to put their health at risk.

Robinson introduced a "Good Samaritan bill" -- House Bill 2530 -- earlier this year in the state House of Representatives. On Monday, Feb. 17, her measure was unanimously passed by the House, and then sent on over to the Senate for more discussion.

The legislation directs that it would be incumbent upon a local health department to provide free infectious-disease testing for a Good Samaritan -- no matter whether or not the Good Samaritan has health insurance that covers the testing.

Robinson's bill also states that the local health department must provide free testing of the person -- if he or she says that such testing is OK with him or her -- to determine whether post-exposure treatment of the Good Samaritan is in fact necessary.

Robinson explained that "a Good Samaritan is anyone who renders emergency care or transportation without expectation of getting paid for it. These folks shouldn't have to worry about whether or not they were exposed to a disease.

"This bill arose out of information I received from a physician who responded to a roadside accident," Robinson said.

"The doctor with whom I talked wanted to increase the availability of free infectious- disease testing.

“I simply believe that free testing should be made available to folks who act as Good Samaritans."

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