Change to Good Samaritan bill makes its way through legislature

Jul 15, 2016

Credit Smpage09 via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

A bill that would give immunity to anyone who calls for help when someone overdoses is making its way through the legislature.

The current Good Samaritan law protects people under 21 from criminal charges if they call 911 after someone overdoses.

It also applies only to prescription drugs.

The new bill would give immunity to any person and apply to any illegal drug if 911 is called for a medical emergency.

While the bill is receiving bi-partisan support, Republican Senator Patrick Colbeck says it essentially amounts to legalization of drug use,

"Yeah we want them to get medical attention," he says. "But if you just turn the other way when they actually seek that medical attention, I would make the case that you’re just enabling future behavior."

Legislators in favor of the bill say it will encourage people to contact emergency services when there is a drug overdose.