Liability: Providing Opioid Antagonist Treatment
An individual, who has been trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of opiate overdose, trained in various treatments related to opiate overdose, and who, in good faith, provides an opioid antagonist or other appropriate treatment to an individual believed to be suffering an opiate-related overdose, will not be held legally responsible for acting or for failing to act. They can be held legally responsible if acting with intent to cause harm.
Opiate overdose; treatments; training; administration of naloxone; rules
(1) As used in this section: (a) “Opiate” means a narcotic drug that contains: (A) Opium; (B) Any chemical derivative of opium; or (C) Any synthetic or semisynthetic drug with opium-like effects. (b) “Opiate overdose” means a medical condition that causes depressed consciousness and mental functioning, decreased movement, depressed respiratory function and the impairment of the vital functions as a result of ingesting opiates in an amount larger than can be physically tolerated. (2) The Oregon Health Authority shall establish by rule protocols and criteria for training on lifesaving treatments for opiate overdose. The criteria must specify: (a) The frequency of required retraining or refresher training; and (b) The curriculum for the training, including: (A) The recognition of symptoms and signs of opiate overdose; (B) Nonpharmaceutical treatments for opiate overdose, including rescue breathing and proper positioning of the victim; (C) Obtaining emergency medical services; (D) The proper administration of naloxone to reverse opiate overdose; and (E) The observation and follow-up that is necessary to avoid the recurrence of overdose symptoms. (3) Training that meets the protocols and criteria established by the authority under subsection (2) of this section must be subject to oversight by a licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner and may be conducted by public health authorities, organizations or other appropriate entities that provide services to individuals who take opiates. (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a pharmacy, a health care professional or a pharmacist with prescription and dispensing privileges or any other person designated by the State Board of Pharmacy by rule may distribute unit-of-use packages of naloxone, and the necessary medical supplies to administer the naloxone, to a person who: (a) Conducts training that meets the protocols and criteria established by the authority under subsection (2) of this section, so that the person may possess and distribute naloxone and necessary medical supplies to persons who successfully complete the training; or (b) Has successfully completed training that meets the protocols and criteria established by the authority under subsection (2) of this section, so that the person may possess and administer naloxone to any individual who appears to be experiencing an opiate overdose. (5) A person who has successfully completed the training described in this section is immune from civil liability for any act or omission committed during the course of providing the treatment pursuant to the authority granted by this section, if the person is acting in good faith and the act or omission does not constitute wanton misconduct.