2010 Florida Statutes
Denial of emergency treatment; civil liability.
Denial of emergency treatment; civil liability.—
Except as provided in subsection (3), a person may not be denied needed prehospital treatment or transport from any licensee for an emergency medical condition.
A person may not be denied treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from a failure to provide such treatment at any general hospital licensed under chapter 395 or at any specialty hospital that has an emergency room.
A hospital or its employees or any physician or dentist responding to an apparent need for emergency treatment under this section is not liable in any action arising out of a refusal to render emergency treatment or care if reasonable care is exercised in determining the condition of the person and in determining the appropriateness of the facilities and the qualifications and availability of personnel to render such treatment.
Resuscitation may be withheld or withdrawn from a patient by an emergency medical technician or paramedic if evidence of an order not to resuscitate by the patient’s physician is presented to the emergency medical technician or paramedic. An order not to resuscitate, to be valid, must be on the form adopted by rule of the department. The form must be signed by the patient’s physician and by the patient or, if the patient is incapacitated, the patient’s health care surrogate or proxy as provided in chapter 765, court-appointed guardian as provided in chapter 744, or attorney in fact under a durable power of attorney as provided in chapter 709. The court-appointed guardian or attorney in fact must have been delegated authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the patient.
Any licensee, physician, medical director, or emergency medical technician or paramedic who acts under the direction of a medical director is not subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability, and has not engaged in negligent or unprofessional conduct, as a result of the withholding or withdrawal of resuscitation from a patient pursuant to this subsection and rules adopted by the department.
The department, in consultation with the Department of Elderly Affairs and the Agency for Health Care Administration, shall develop a standardized do-not-resuscitate identification system with devices that signify, when carried or worn, that the possessor is a patient for whom a physician has issued an order not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The department may charge a reasonable fee to cover the cost of producing and distributing such identification devices. Use of such devices shall be voluntary.
Any licensee or emergency medical technician or paramedic who in good faith provides emergency medical care or treatment within the scope of their employment and pursuant to oral or written instructions of a medical director shall be deemed to be providing emergency medical care or treatment for the purposes of s. 768.13(2)(b).
The department shall adopt and enforce all rules necessary to implement this section.
s. 26, ch. 73-126; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 24, 25, 27, ch. 82-402; s. 13, ch. 83-196; ss. 26, 36, ch. 92-78; s. 8, ch. 99-331; s. 5, ch. 2000-295.