Legal Issues
Georgia the First State to Enact Legal Safe Harbor for Physicians
May 6, 2013 - 7:15:35 PM

Statement attributed to: Patrice A. Harris, M.D., AMA Board Member

( - "The American Medical Association commends Georgia lawmakers for enacting legal protections for physicians engaged in quality and delivery improvement initiatives included in the federal health care reform law. This first-of-its-kind legislation reinforces the concept that medical decisions are made based on a patient's unique medical needs.

"The new State Physician Shield Act is based on model legislation developed by the AMA Advocacy Resource Center to make it clear that federal standards or guidelines designed to enhance access to high-quality health care cannot be used to invent new legal actions against physicians.

"The decisive action of Georgia lawmakers holds the line against medical liability abuse and helps avert more civil actions against physicians, which increase medical liability insurance premiums and reduce access to health care for Georgia's patients.

"The AMA worked closely with the Medical Association of Georgia to turn our model legislation into vital legal protections for physicians, which help preserve access to care for patients. Today's bill signing shows yet again that the combined efforts of organized medicine can achieve the best outcomes for patients and physicians."

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