Paul D. Bozyk, MD (Oakland), member of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) Board of Directors, and MSMS Legal Counsel, Kathleen Westfall, JD, testified on behalf of MSMS before the House Committee on Judiciary on May 13, 2020, in support of Senate Bill 899, introduced by Senator Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Township). This legislation, which seeks to codify and clarify immunity protection for health care professionals acting in response to the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, is currently under debate by the Michigan Legislature. Your voice is needed to ensure the Legislature understands the importance of protecting physicians from liability claims arising from the COVID-19 response.
Michigan’s physicians and other health care providers have responded to the call to protect the health and well-being of the people of Michigan due to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. They are at the forefront caring for patients throughout this pandemic, despite risks to their own health and safety and viability of their medical practices and facilities. Passage of Senate Bill 899 (S-2) is necessary to safeguard physicians and other health care providers on the frontline of this new, novel virus, as they treat patients and make other treatment decisions in compliance with the orders and guidance of governmental authorities.
If passed, Senate Bill 899 will achieve the following:
- Make clear immunity begins retroactive to March 10, 2020 and continues for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency or state of disaster or through September 30, 2020, whichever is later.
- Confirm that immunity applies to criminal as well as civil liability.
- Clarify the immunity applies not only to licensed health care professionals, but also to students, retirees, and other unlicensed health care professionals that have provided health care services in support of the State’s response to this virus.
MSMS is also advocating for a bill amendment to expressly clarify that decisions made regarding the postponement, cancellation, or rescheduling of any health care services, as a result of government COVID-related directives, are covered by the immunity provisions in the bill.
Write your State Representative to support Senate Bill 899>>
View the video testimony (starting at the 13-minute mark)