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Public Statements

Protecting Access to Healthcare Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. MATHESON. Madam Chair, I stand in strong support of this amendment, as I do to the underlying bill.

The amendment before us will provide much-needed liability protections to medical professionals to ensure that they are able to do what they are trained to do, which is save lives.

As Mr. Stearns indicated, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it became clear that a uniformity of Good Samaritan laws is needed in this country. In several instances, qualified and certified physicians and other medical professionals from across the country were turned away from providing much-needed and critical care to victims of this disaster even when it was plainly apparent that the medical resources in the communities that were affected by the disaster were far beyond the capacity to provide adequate emergency care.

Yet doctors from Utah who volunteered to provide emergency care in situations such as this shouldn't fear unnecessary lawsuits and, above all else, should not be turned away due to uncertainty about liability protections.

I want to thank my friend and colleague, Mr. Stearns, for his work and his partnership on this amendment. This commonsense measure to provide sensible protections to those Good Samaritans who volunteer their medical services to help those struck by disaster is an amendment we should all support. I urge colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bipartisan amendment.


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