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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

ORC Ann. 2305.234(B)-(F)

Summary Title

Liability: Volunteer Health Care Professional

Summary

A volunteer health care professional acting within the scope of their medical authority will not be held legally responsible for injury or death of a poor and uninsured person or for damage to property when the patient gives consent and signs a waiver, and the volunteer health care professional informs the patient that they have some legal protections. They can be held legally responsible for injury, death, or damage to property when general anesthesia is used, when the procedure performed is not usually done in an office setting, when delivering a baby, or when purposefully performing an abortion.

Full Title

Immunity of volunteer health care professionals, nonprofit referral organizations, and facilities or locations.

Full Text

(B)(1) Subject to divisions (F) and (G)(3) of this section, a health care professional who is a volunteer and complies with division (B)(2) of this section is not liable in damages to any person or government entity in a tort or other civil action, including an action on a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an action or omission of the volunteer in the provision to an indigent and uninsured person of medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment, including the provision of samples of medicine and other medical products, unless the action or omission constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. (2) To qualify for the immunity described in division (B)(1) of this section, a health care professional shall do all of the following prior to providing diagnosis, care, or treatment: (a) Determine, in good faith, that the indigent and uninsured person is mentally capable of giving informed consent to the provision of the diagnosis, care, or treatment and is not subject to duress or under undue influence; (b) Inform the person of the provisions of this section, including notifying the person that, by giving informed consent to the provision of the diagnosis, care, or treatment, the person cannot hold the health care professional liable for damages in a tort or other civil action, including an action on a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, unless the action or omission of the health care professional constitutes willful or wanton misconduct; (c) Obtain the informed consent of the person and a written waiver, signed by the person or by another individual on behalf of and in the presence of the person, that states that the person is mentally competent to give informed consent and, without being subject to duress or under undue influence, gives informed consent to the provision of the diagnosis, care, or treatment subject to the provisions of this section. A written waiver under division (B)(2)(c) of this section shall state clearly and in conspicuous type that the person or other individual who signs the waiver is signing it with full knowledge that, by giving informed consent to the provision of the diagnosis, care, or treatment, the person cannot bring a tort or other civil action, including an action on a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, against the health care professional unless the action or omission of the health care professional constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. (3) A physician or podiatrist who is not covered by medical malpractice insurance, but complies with division (B)(2) of this section, is not required to comply with division (A) of section 4731.143 of the Revised Code. (C) Subject to divisions (F) and (G)(3) of this section, health care workers who are volunteers are not liable in damages to any person or government entity in a tort or other civil action, including an action upon a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an action or omission of the health care worker in the provision to an indigent and uninsured person of medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment, unless the action or omission constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. (D) Subject to divisions (F) and (G)(3) of this section, a nonprofit health care referral organization is not liable in damages to any person or government entity in a tort or other civil action, including an action on a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an action or omission of the nonprofit health care referral organization in referring indigent and uninsured persons to, or arranging for the provision of, medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment by a health care professional described in division (B)(1) of this section or a health care worker described in division (C) of this section, unless the action or omission constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. (E) Subject to divisions (F) and (G)(3) of this section and to the extent that the registration requirements of section 3701.071 of the Revised Code apply, a health care facility or location associated with a health care professional described in division (B)(1) of this section, a health care worker described in division (C) of this section, or a nonprofit health care referral organization described in division (D) of this section is not liable in damages to any person or government entity in a tort or other civil action, including an action on a medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric, or other health-related claim, for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an action or omission of the health care professional or worker or nonprofit health care referral organization relative to the medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment provided to an indigent and uninsured person on behalf of or at the health care facility or location, unless the action or omission constitutes willful or wanton misconduct. (F)(1) Except as provided in division (F)(2) of this section, the immunities provided by divisions (B), (C), (D), and (E) of this section are not available to a health care professional, health care worker, nonprofit health care referral organization, or health care facility or location if, at the time of an alleged injury, death, or loss to person or property, the health care professionals or health care workers involved are providing one of the following: (a) Any medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment pursuant to a community service work order entered by a court under division (B) of section 2951.02 of the Revised Code or imposed by a court as a community control sanction; (b) Performance of an operation to which any one of the following applies: (i) The operation requires the administration of deep sedation or general anesthesia. (ii) The operation is a procedure that is not typically performed in an office. (iii) The individual involved is a health care professional, and the operation is beyond the scope of practice or the education, training, and competence, as applicable, of the health care professional. (c) Delivery of a baby or any other purposeful termination of a human pregnancy. (2) Division (F)(1) of this section does not apply when a health care professional or health care worker provides medical, dental, or other health-related diagnosis, care, or treatment that is necessary to preserve the life of a person in a medical emergency.