DeSantis approves controversial bill protecting medical facilities from COVID claims

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Feb. 24 signed a controversial bill that protects hospitals from claims related to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). The approval of Senate Bill (SB) 7014 effectively extended liability protections for hospitals and other facilities in the state until June 2023.

SB 7014 was a revised version of the earlier House Bill (HB) 7021 filed by Republican State Reps. Colleen Burton and Patt Maney in January 2022. The original bill protected hospitals from COVID-19 claims “that have accrued before the effective date of this act and within one year after.” However, SB 7014 amended this text to include claims filed before June 1, 2023.

According to LifeSiteNews, DeSantis and state legislators enacted laws to protect businesses and health care providers from various COVID-related lawsuits and their accompanying financial burden. These include circumstances wherein a health provider “made a good faith effort to substantially comply with authoritative or controlling government-issued health standards” at the federal, state or local level.

Critics of SB 7014 have expressed concerns that its effectivity prolongs the ability of doctors and hospitals agreeing with the medical establishment to use federal treatment standards as a shield from legal actions.

In what appears to be an attempt to soften the blow of SB 7014, DeSantis announced new guidance for doctors in the Sunshine State on Feb. 24.

Together with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the Florida governor encouraged physicians to “exercise their individual clinical judgment and expertise based on their patients’ needs and preferences.” These also encompassed “emerging treatments backed by quality evidence, with appropriate patient informed consent, including off-label use or as part of a clinical trial.”


“With today’s actions, state guidance is now clear that practitioners will have the flexibility to make the decision to treat patients with off-label prescriptions if they determine that it may help the patient, it is something the patient would like to try and [the patient] provides informed consent to try. Florida has always believed in providing all possible treatment options to health care providers and led efforts to make monoclonal antibody treatments statewide,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement. (Related: Biden hands Americans a death sentence by restricting COVID-19 medications.)

Different groups urging DeSantis to veto bill

The Florida governor had been urged by different groups to veto SB 7014 and its earlier counterpart HB 7021. A group made up of 35 organizations and activists penned a letter to the governor asking him to block the bill, which ended in vain when DeSantis signed the bill into law.

In the letter, the group condemned SB 7014 because it allowed health care providers to simply follow COVID-19 treatment guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “against their patients’ wishes and remain free from liability.”

“Government-issued health standards (or ‘treatment protocols’) include the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, which many say aren’t working. Some medical professionals have stated that these CDC protocols have led to unnecessary medicines, ventilation and deaths. We know you share with us the core values of protecting life, individual liberty and the freedom of medical choice. Yet what has happened – on countless occasions – and will continue to happen in Florida if this law is adopted, is that Floridians are being denied treatment, checked into hospitals and cut off from their loved ones.”

Brighteon.TV hosts Stew Peters and Dr. Jane Ruby were among the bill’s critics, vocally denouncing the proposal and exhorting the GOP governor to veto HB 7021.

“We’re absolutely going in the wrong direction here in Florida, [as the bill] actually provides additional legal liability shields to hospitals, nurses and doctors until June of 2023. I’m not sure why we needed [it] when we already have the CDC giving what they call blanket waivers,” Ruby said.

Peters agreed, saying: “What this is doing is empowering the [hospital] administrators, which are the ones that operate the bottom line. The hospitals are – by and large – for-profit businesses. There are administrators that work there [and] get bonuses and promotions based on whether or not they’re operating in the red, green or the black. [They] obviously are operating in the green because of this COVID-19 pandemic.”

Watch Stew Peters and Dr. Jane Ruby talk about HB 7021 below.

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