Physician Liability for COVID-19 Testing

GuidanceHealth Data Sharing and Privacy

August 14, 2020
by Peter D. Jacobson

A public health physician is seeking clarification of his/her duties in light of Michigan Governor Whitmer’s Emergency Declaration (Executive Order 2020-104) to increase COVID-19 testing. Does testing for COVID-19 establish a physician-patient duty to patients for whom a physician orders or conducts a test? Is it legally permissible to order these tests when no assessment is made on the tested patients? As explained in detail below, the answer to the first question is that Michigan law imposes a limited duty, but with immunity from personal liability. The answer to the second question is yes.

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COVID-19 FAQs for Michigan Local Health Departments

FAQMichiganMid-States RegionPublic Health Advocacy and Decision-Making

November 13, 2020
by Carrie Waggoner, Colleen Healy Boufides, Denise Chrysler, Kathleen Hoke, Peter D. Jacobson and Sallie Milam

In addressing questions regarding executive decision-making, we use the following general approach. Michigan’s Public Health Code grants public health officials considerable discretion to protect the public against communicable disease and environmental health threats. To exercise their broad grant of authority, the executive must ask three key questions: Can I? Must I? Should I?

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Characteristics of Statewide Naloxone Distribution Mechanisms

50-state surveyOpioid Misuse and Overdose PreventionHarm Reduction Legal ProjectHarm Reduction Legal Project ResourcesSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

August 7, 2020
by Corey Davis

This fact sheet provides information on Pennsylvania's Act 139, which provides limited immunity to overdose victims and bystanders that seek medical help, and increases accesss to naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

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