1Amending the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), entitled
2"An act reforming the law on medical professional liability;
3providing for patient safety and reporting; establishing the
4Patient Safety Authority and the Patient Safety Trust Fund;
5abrogating regulations; providing for medical professional
6liability informed consent, damages, expert qualifications,
7limitations of actions and medical records; establishing the
8Interbranch Commission on Venue; providing for medical
9professional liability insurance; establishing the Medical
10Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund; providing for
11medical professional liability claims; establishing the Joint
12Underwriting Association; regulating medical professional
13liability insurance; providing for medical licensure
14regulation; providing for administration; imposing penalties;
15and making repeals," providing for emergency care.

16The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
17hereby enacts as follows:

18Section 1. The act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known
19as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare)
20Act, is amended by adding a section to read:

21Section 517. Emergency care.

22(a) Qualified immunity.--In a medical professional liability
23action arising out of the provision of emergency health care, no

1physician or other health care provider shall be held liable for
2any act or failure to act unless it is proven by clear and
3convincing evidence that the physician or health care provider's
4actions or omissions were grossly negligent.

5(b) Mitigating circumstances.--In a medical professional
6liability action arising out of the provision of emergency
7health care, the trier of the fact shall consider, together with
8all other relevant matters:

9(1) Whether the person providing the care had the
10patient's pertinent medical history, either from medical
11records or from a reliable person, including information as
12to preexisting medical conditions, allergies and medications
13being taken.

14(2) The preexistence of a physician-patient relationship
15or health care provider-patient relationship.

16(3) The circumstances constituting the need for
17emergency health care.

18(4) The circumstances surrounding the delivery of the
19emergency health care, including, if relevant, factors such
20as where the care was provided, the demands on the emergency
21department at the time and the promptness with which it was
22necessary to make medical decisions and to order and provide

24(c) Definitions.-- The following words and phrases when used
25in this section shall have the meanings given to them in this
26subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

27"Emergency health care." As follows:

28(1) Health care services that are provided to an

30(i) after the onset of a medical or traumatic

1condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of
2sufficient severity, including severe pain, such that the
3absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably
4be expected to result in placing the individual's health
5in serious jeopardy, serious impairment of bodily
6functions or serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or
7part; or

8(ii) pursuant to a mandate under Federal or State
9law, including the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active
10Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395 (dd).

11(2) The term includes:

12(i) The described care in all settings, including
13prehospital emergency care by a medical command
14physician, emergency care in a hospital emergency
15department or obstetrical unit or emergency care in a
16surgical suite immediately following the evaluation or
17treatment of a patient in a hospital emergency

19(ii) All care or treatment, regardless of setting,
20until the individual is stabilized.

21(3) The term does not include care or treatment that
22occurs after the patient is stabilized and is capable of
23receiving medical treatment as a nonemergency patient or care
24that is unrelated to the original emergency or mandate.

25"Emergency health care provider." Any health care provider
26providing emergency medical care, including physicians in all

28"Health care service." Any act or treatment that is
29performed or furnished, or that should have been performed or
30furnished, by any health care provider for, to or on behalf of a

1patient during a patient's medical care, treatment or
2confinement. The term includes the direction to perform, not
3perform, furnish or not furnish a health care service.

4Section 2. The addition of section 517 of the act shall
5apply to all medical professional liability actions arising on
6or after the effective date of this section.

7Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.