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A public health appraisal of good samaritan legislation

Dellana, Christopher (2018) A public health appraisal of good samaritan legislation. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Good Samaritan laws are, at their core, legislative public health interventions. These laws abrogate the common law right of redress and the public interest in criminal justice to promote a greater good—encouraging would-be Levites to become Samaritans for fellow citizens in their hours of need. As such, these laws embody public health significance. But do they achieve as much? While most traditional Good Samaritan laws in the United States have been around for more than half of a century, there exists very little insight into whether they have actually achieved their basic public health purpose of encouraging (or compelling) spontaneous care in emergency situations. A public health appraisal of these Good Samaritan laws is difficult, in part, because of the statutory variability among them and the lack of reliable data sources or legislative benchmarks informing them. A wide array of laws might be considered related to or aligned with Good Samaritan ideology, but this paper focuses only on laws that indemnify actors from liability for spontaneously rendering emergency aid in emergency situations. This paper discusses various methods for measuring the policy outcome of these laws and insists on greater intentionality in the legislative process to urge that future policymaking in this area be the product of responsible, evidence-based decisions rather than uninformed guesswork.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dellana, Christopherchristopherdellana@gmail.comchd490000-0002-0193-6850
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVan Nostrand, Elizabethevannostrand@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCrossley, Marycrossley@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 23 April 2018
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 82
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Good Samaritan laws, policymaking, public health, health law, health care, opioid, immunity
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2019 15:19
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2019 15:19

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