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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.


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Do volunteer physicians have any protection from liability for providing care during a state of emergency? What about physicians practicing outside their usual specialty?

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Generally, yes. California and federal law currently provide a broad base of liability protection for physicians and other health care providers during a state of emergency. Under California law, physicians are generally immune from liability for injuries stemming from medical care and treatment rendered during a state of emergency. This immunity applies both to California-licensed physicians and physicians licensed in another state as well as to certain other health providers, including respiratory care practitioners and nurses. Note that this immunity does not apply in the event of a willful act or omission. (Government Code §8659; see also Business & Professions Code §900(e).) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also issued a declaration which provides immunity from suit and liability under state and federal law for certain actions in relation to COVID-19. While these laws provide broad immunity for health care providers during a state of emergency, each situation would need to be analyzed based on facts specific to a particular provider. (03/21/20)

| Categories: Professional Liability, Physician Volunteers | Return

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