Gov. issues order providing physicians with more legal liability protection

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has issued an executive order that protects additional physicians and allied health care professionals in the state from legal liability for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health State of Emergency “except in cases of gross negligence, willful misconduct, or bad faith.”

Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) President Andrew Reisman, M.D., says that, “This has been a real focal point for MAG since the pandemic began – so I would really like to applaud MAG for its tireless advocacy efforts, which is something that is going to benefit every physician in the state.”

The executive order that Gov. Kemp signed this afternoon designates “individuals who are licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized under Title 43, Chapter 26 and Chapter 34 to provide health care services in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession or in an approved education or training program, whose practices are affected by the Public Health Emergency caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19” as auxiliary emergency management workers.

This is in addition to workers at health care facilities (except those wherein abortion procedures are performed) who are also defined as auxiliary emergency management workers. 

MAG Legal Counsel Bethany Sherrer explains that, “This means that all licensed physicians, nurses, physician assistants, respiratory care professionals, and other practitioners who are licensed under the Medical Practice Act and whose practices have been affected by the Public Health Emergency, as well as ‘workers of healthcare facilities,’ are protected from liability except in cases of gross negligence, willful misconduct, or bad faith.” 

She emphasizes that, “The new executive order ensures that non-facility-based physicians receive those same protections for the important work they are doing during the public health emergency.”

MAG members can contact Sherrer at bsherrer@mag.org with questions.  

Gov. Kemp’s May 12 executive order