Bill expands 'Good Sam' law

March 5, 2009
Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev.-Lawmakers were urged Thursday to expand Nevada's "Good Samaritan" law that protects many medical professionals from being sued as a result of their volunteer efforts during natural or man-caused disasters.

Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, said her AB200 would add psychologists to the list, and also ensure that other medical professionals who are retired or not practicing full-time would have immunity from lawsuit for any "good faith" help to disaster victims.

Gansert was backed by Gabriel Bonnet, a retired Reno doctor active in Red Cross relief efforts around the country, who cited a report ranking Nevada 44th among all states in preparedness for public health emergencies such as disease outbreaks, bioterrorism and natural disasters.

The December 2008 report, from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the current recession and federal funding cuts could further erode states' abilities to prepare for disasters.

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