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February 2005, Volume 35 Number 2 , p 73 - 73





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    As an RN, I'm wondering what the legal implications would be if a disaster were to strike and I wanted to volunteer my services in a makeshift clinic or hospital. Would Good Samaritan laws protect me? —L.B., N.Y.

    Figure. No caption available. Good Samaritan laws usually protect those providing voluntary care at the scene of an accident, but not necessarily those who join an organized volunteer effort. On the other hand, some states also protect volunteers above and beyond the basic activities spelled out in the Good Samaritan laws. Before a disaster strikes, find out what your state laws allow.

    You can't rely on your employer's liability insurance to cover activities that fall outside the scope of your employment. Read your personal professional liability policy or ask your insurer to explain in writing whether you're covered. If you don't have coverage, get it before you volunteer.

    Penny ...

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