Registered paramedics, insurance and first aid – looking for coherence in law

Michael Eburn

Abstract


This article challenges the view that professional indemnity insurance is required when paramedics provide first aid at an unexpected accident or medical emergency while not at work. It is argued that an interpretation of ‘practice’ that includes emergency first aid would be inconsistent with the policy of the law reflected in ‘Good Samaritan’ legislation and would be contrary to the public interest.

The provisions of the Registration Standard ‘Professional Indemnity Insurance’ are linked to judicial decisions on what it means to practise a profession to demonstrate that an interpretation of ‘practise’ that excludes first aid is consistent with the law. The Paramedicine Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency should give a clear statement that providing first aid at an unexpected health emergency is not and will not be considered professional practice by an off-duty registered health professional who is at the scene of the emergency, simply by coincidence.


Keywords


paramedic; professional indemnity insurance; law

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33151/ajp.16.663

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The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia © 2019                           ISSN: 2202-7270

 

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