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Amnesty policies provoke debate – News

Amnesty policies provoke debate – News.

Cornell University pioneered a Medical Amnesty Policy (MAP) in 2002 to deal with drug and alcohol abuse and the medical emergencies that result from it. The policy, also referred to as a “good Samaritan” policy, allows students to call for transportation to the infirmary or hospital for themselves or friends without fear that the school will take judicial action against them, in the hope that students will be more willing to seek medical attention for a drug or alcohol related illness. Since then, over 90 schools have adopted similar policies, including Emerson College in Boston, which changed its policy several months ago. Recently, Boston University began debate over the adoption of a similar policy, but has not reached a conclusion.

The Alcohol Task Force Committee at Boston College has been debating the issue of a medical amnesty policy regarding alcohol-related illness for the past few months. Harvey Simmons, vice president of UGBC Senate and A&S ’11, and Justin Pike, executive staff member in the UGBC and A&S ’11, are the two student representatives on the Alcohol Task Force Committee. The task force is composed of students, faculty members, and administrators from a variety of departments. “We are going to be active members of the Alcohol Task Force so that when the decision is made, it is a decision of the University and not of a particular person or department,” said Henry Humphreys, dean of residential life. The committee is determined to come to a well-informed decision that can be supported by all administrators of the University, from implementation to enforcement.

Current BC policy states that if a student goes to University Health Services (UHS) under his own power or with the aid of a friend, due to medical confidentiality, that student will not receive disciplinary action, regardless of his state of intoxication. If a student requires transportation by the Boston College Police Department (BCPD), then a police report will be made for the incident, and the student will receive disciplinary action if he has been drinking underage. The proposed MAP could take one of many forms, all of which state that no disciplinary action would be taken toward a student calling for transportation for a friend who needed medical care, or the person receiving care. The policy, if put into effect, would protect students from repercussions in alcohol related cases only and would not apply to the abuse of other substances.  Continued……..

Imagine how many lives could be saved if the all the US took this stance on overdose medical emergencies?

Right now the fear of going to jail, ruining your career, family and home life keeps people from calling for help for others in these situations.

We can all say that we think we would call for help no matter the repricussions….but if you knew you might be charged with MANSLAUGHTER if the person dies and given up to twenty years in prison for someone else’s use of a drug, (as is the case with some recent methadone overdose cases)I bet most of us would at least THINK about running away?

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