On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed S-2333/A-3910 into law, which provides civil and criminal immunity to certain health care professionals and health care facilities during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020 for certain conduct. The new law also authorizes temporary reinstatement and recertification of certain professional certifications to assist with the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19“) pandemic.
Immunity: Under the new law, (1) a health care professional will not be liable for civil damages for injury or death alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission by the health care professional in the course of providing medical services in support of the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency; and (2) a health care facility or a health care system that owns or operates more than one health care facility will not be liable for civil damages for injury or death alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission by one or more of its agents, officers, employees, servants, representatives or volunteers, if, and to the extent, such individual is immune from liability pursuant to the new law.
Immunity also includes any act or omission undertaken in good faith by a health care professional or healthcare facility or health care system to support efforts to treat COVID-19 patients and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during current State of Emergency, including but not limited to engaging in telemedicine or telehealth, and diagnosing or treating patients outside the normal scope of the health care professional’s license or practice.
The new law does not grant immunity to medical doctors and healthcare workers in New Jersey for all inpatient or outpatient procedures or any medical treatment rendered in the ordinary course of business unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency. The purpose of this new law is to ensure that there are no impediments to providing medical treatment related to COVID-19 and that all medical personnel supporting the COVID-19 response are granted immunity.
The immunity granted pursuant to this provision shall be retroactive to March 9, 2020.
Temporary Reinstatement and/or Reciprocity of EMTs and Paramedics: Emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”) and paramedics whose professional certification have expired, regardless of whether such professional has satisfied the requirements for reinstatement of an expired certification, may apply to the Department of Health for provisional certification to last for up to six months from the date of issuance, unless otherwise determined. The Department of Health may also grant temporary reciprocity to any paramedic who is not certified to practice in New Jersey but is either provisionally certified as a paramedic by the National Registry of EMTs or is certified as a paramedic in any other state or the District of Columbia, provided that the paramedic has not had a paramedic certification revoked by the Department of Health, does not currently have a paramedic certification under suspension by the Department of Health, and satisfies all other general requirements, for up to six months from the date of issuance, unless otherwise determined.
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