BILL NUMBER: SB 953	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN SENATE  MAY 12, 2010
	AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 16, 2010

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Walters

                        FEBRUARY 4, 2010

   An act to amend Section 2397 of the Business and Professions Code,
relating to healing arts.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 953, as amended, Walters. Podiatrists: liability for emergency
services.
   Existing law, the Medical Practice Act, provides for the licensure
and regulation of physicians and surgeons by the Medical Board of
California and for the licensure and regulation of podiatrists by the
California Board of Podiatric Medicine within the Medical Board of
California. Existing law exempts a licensee of either of those boards
from liability for civil damages for acts or omissions by the
licensee in rendering specified emergency care and for injury or
death caused in an emergency situation occurring in the licensee's
office or a hospital on account of a failure to inform a patient of
the possible consequences of a medical procedure, as specified.
Existing law prohibits construing these provisions to authorize a
podiatrist to act beyond certain scope of practice limitations.
   This bill would delete that prohibition  and would  
state the Legislature's intent regarding that deletion  .
 It would state legislative intent to delete a reference to
an obsolete provision. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
   
  SECTION 1.    Nothing in this act is intended, nor
shall it be interpreted, to enlarge, reduce, or otherwise modify the
scope of practice of doctors of podiatric medicine as set forth in
Section 2472 of the Business and Professions Code. This act is
intended to delete a reference to an obsolete provision of law.

   SEC. 2.   SECTION 1.   Section 2397 of
the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
   2397.  (a) A licensee shall not be liable for civil damages for
injury or death caused in an emergency situation occurring in the
licensee's office or in a hospital on account of a failure to inform
a patient of the possible consequences of a medical procedure where
the failure to inform is caused by any of the following:
   (1) The patient was unconscious.
   (2) The medical procedure was undertaken without the consent of
the patient because the licensee reasonably believed that a medical
procedure should be undertaken immediately and that there was
insufficient time to fully inform the patient.
   (3) A medical procedure was performed on a person legally
incapable of giving consent, and the licensee reasonably believed
that a medical procedure should be undertaken immediately and that
there was insufficient time to obtain the informed consent of a
person authorized to give such consent for the patient.
   (b) This section is applicable only to actions for damages for
injuries or death arising because of a licensee's failure to inform,
and not to actions for damages arising because of a licensee's
negligence in rendering or failing to render treatment.
   (c) As used in this section:
   (1) "Hospital" means a licensed general acute care hospital as
defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety
Code.
   (2) "Emergency situation occurring in the licensee's office" means
a situation occurring in an office, other than a hospital, used by a
licensee for the examination or treatment of patients, requiring
immediate services for alleviation of severe pain, or immediate
diagnosis and treatment of unforeseeable medical conditions, which,
if not immediately diagnosed and treated, would lead to serious
disability or death.
   (3) "Emergency situation occurring in a hospital" means a
situation occurring in a hospital, whether or not it occurs in an
emergency room, requiring immediate services for alleviation of
severe pain, or immediate diagnosis and treatment of unforeseeable
medical conditions, which, if not immediately diagnosed and treated,
would lead to serious disability or death. 
   (d) The amendments made to this section by the act adding this
subdivision are not intended, nor shall they be construed, to
enlarge, reduce, or otherwise modify the scope of practice of doctors
of podiatric medicine, as set forth in Section 2472. The amendments
are intended to clarify that exemptions from liability under this
article and Section 1799.102 of the Health and Safety Code apply to
doctors of podiatric medicine rendering emergency care, and are
intended to delete a reference to an obsolete provision of law.