Government Relations: Good Samaritan Legislation Reintroduced in the House of Representatives

On Friday, September 10, 2021, Representative Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), reintroduced the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 5239—117th Congress: Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2021 (Link: is identical to the bill that was introduced in the 116th session of Congress. Our champions in the Senate, Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (RLA), and Senator Angus King (I-ME), plan to reintroduce a companion bill in the U.S. Senate in the upcoming weeks. 

The Good Samaritan Health Professional Act amends the Public Health Service Act to limit medical liability protections to healthcare professionals who cross state lines to volunteer their time and skills to treat victims of federally declared disasters. The bill encourages medical professionals to join volunteer registries like the Emergency System for Advance Registration for Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) to expedite deployment and resources in the event of a federally declared disaster. 

The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act will ensure that victims of federally declared disasters and public-health emergencies will have adequate access to medical care following a catastrophic event. The current variations in state laws that aim to encourage medical volunteerism are ambiguous and inconsistent, especially when applied to large-scale events. Congress enacted volunteer liability protections in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act last year; however, those protections are limited to the treatment of COVID-19. The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act corrects these problems by applying the same volunteer protections from the CARES Act to volunteers responding to future disasters or public health emergencies. 

We are grateful and pleased to have bipartisan support for reintroduction, and we are working to increase support throughout the congressional community. Anne Bryant, Senior Director of Government Relations at Physicians Insurance, serves as our in-house lobbyist and chairs the MPL Association’s Government Relations Committee, our national medical professional liability trade association. The Medical Professional Liability Association will be hosting a 2021 Capitol Hill Week the week of November 1, 2021, to promote opportunities for the medical community and MPL industry leaders to meet with their federal lawmakers to encourage support for the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, as well as to discuss other issues of importance to the medical liability community.

To learn more about our Government Relations efforts, contact: Anne E. Bryant, Senior Director of Government Relations, at