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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 15, 2015 01:52 PM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III
To: All Senate members
Subject: Impersonating a Physician

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation which would increase the criminal grading for a person who impersonates a doctor of medicine and provides medical treatment, from a second degree misdemeanor to a first degree misdemeanor.

This legislation is based on a recommendation made by the Philadelphia Grand Jury which investigated and ultimately indicted Dr. Kermit Gosnell and other employees at his "House of Horrors" abortion clinic. Although Gosnell was ultimately sentenced to life in prison for murder, several of his employees, who were practicing medicine without a proper license, received lenient sentences for their crimes.

Presently, impersonating a physician is treated the same as impersonating a notary public or other licensed professional under Pennsylvania law. However, impersonating a physician can have dire consequences for individuals who unknowingly place their healthcare in the hands of someone who is not properly trained or experienced.

Last session I offered this language as an amendment to HB 1357. The amendment passed unanimously but the legislation was not acted upon by the house prior to the close of session.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB485