August 1999 Bulletin

Texas expands liability law for volunteers

Volunteer health care providers in Texas who give free health care services will be immune from civil liability under legislation signed by Gov. George Bush in June

The law extends existing protections from liability available under the Charitable Immunity and Liability Act of 1987 to all volunteer health care providers, including physicians, physician assistants, registered nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists, dentists, dental hygienists and optometrists.

A volunteer health care provider serving as a direct service volunteer of a charitable organization will be immune from civil liability or any act or omission that results in the death or damage or injury to a patient if the volunteer acted in good faith while providing health care services within the scope of his or her license.

The law requires the patient to sign a written statement acknowledging that the volunteer is providing uncompensated care and that there are limitations on recovery of damages.

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