STATEMENT: Bill Aimed at Curbing Assaults on Healthcare Workers Signed Into Law

Last Updated: Jul 1, 2020

The following is from Lawrence John, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED):
“Physicians and other health care professionals often interact with individuals and families that find themselves in high-stress situations. While it is understandable that emotions run high, it is never an excuse for violence against the professionals doing their best to help. 
Even before COVID-19, the rate of serious violent workplace incidents was more than four times higher in health care than in private industry.
The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) is grateful that the Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Wolf came together to strengthen protections for health care workers.
Senate Bill 351 adds health care practitioners to a protected class of individuals in the event of an assault. Sponsored by Sen. Judy Ward (R-Blair), this legislation raises the penalty from a second-degree misdemeanor to a felony.
Gov. Wolf signed SB 351 into law on July 1. PAMED supported SB 351 and thanks Sen. Ward for her leadership in moving it across the finish line.”
Media Contact
Jeff Wirick
Pennsylvania Medical Society 
About the Pennsylvania Medical Society
PAMED is a physician-led, member-driven organization representing all physicians and medical students throughout the state. We advocate for physicians and their patients, educate physicians through continuing medical education, and provide expert resources and guidance to help physicians and their organizations navigate challenges in today’s ever-evolving health care system.  For more information, visit

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