The Prescription Drug Abuse Policy System's website states, "unintentional drug overdose is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Overdose bystanders may not call for medical assistance for fear of being arrested for drug-related crimes. In response, some states have enacted "Good Samaritan" laws that create immunities or other legal protections for people who call for help in the event of an overdose." (PDAPS, 2021)
Indiana is included in the list of states that provides immunity from civil liability when assisting a person in a medical emergency. According to Tandy Law Firm (2021),
"Pursuant to Indiana Code § 34-30-12-1 which reads, in part, as follows:
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person who comes upon the scene of an emergency or accident, complies with IC 9-26-1-1.5 , or is summoned to the scene of an emergency or accident and, in good faith, gratuitously renders emergency care at the scene of the emergency or accident is immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from:
(1) any act or omission by the person in rendering the emergency care; or
(2) any act or failure to act to provide or arrange for further medical treatment or care for the injured person; except for acts or omissions amounting to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct."
If you come across a person having a medical emergency call 9-1-1 immediately and follow the instructions provided by the dispatcher. If you are fearful of reporting a medical emergency due to being under the influence this law provides protection from criminal charges. For a full list of protections regarding criminal charges related to substance use, visit https://www.pdaps.org/datasets/good-samaritan-overdose-laws-1501695153. You can also call 9-1-1 anonymously and state the emergency that is occurring and address.
Legal Science. Good Samaritan prevention laws. http://www.pdaps.org/datasets/good-samaritan-overdose-laws1501695153. Accessed August 10, 2021.
Tandy Law Firm. The Good Samaritan Law. https://www.tandylawfirm.com/good-samaritans-in-indiana-and-good-samaritan-law/. Accessed August 10, 2021.
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