Overcoming Barriers to Physician Volunteerism: Summary of State Laws Providing Reduced Malpractice Liability Exposure for Clinician Volunteers

Noting that the risk of malpractice liability poses a significant bar-rier to the provision of volunteer health care in this country, the author analyzes current state and federal legislative approaches designed to overcome the hurdle, including a changed standard of care for malprac-tice liability from simple negligence to gross negligence, governmental indemnification of volunteer providers, and state sponsored malpractice insurance. The author challenges legislators to enhance existing legisla-tion by combining the best aspects of the varied approaches in an effort to increase delivery of medical services to those in need, while at the same time ensuring the protection of uninsured patients from malpractice.

The full text of this Symposium is available to download as a PDF.