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SENATE PANEL FORCED TO STRIP ITEM FROM HEALTH-CARE BILL

SHARE SENATE PANEL FORCED TO STRIP ITEM FROM HEALTH-CARE BILL

Saying the issue would be studied after the session ends, a Senate panel Thursday stripped criminal penalties for interfering with a licensed physician in providing care from a sweeping health-care bill.

Sen. Robert Montgomery, R-Ogden, sponsor of SB97, said the Senate received about 15 calls Thursday afternoon from listeners of a local radio show that "misinformed" them about the measure.The talk show host characterized the measure as one that would prevent people from seeking help from "alternative" medical sources after physicians had diagnosed a condition and suggested treatment. Nonphysicians who offered treatment advice would be subjected to criminal penalties.

Montgomery said the characterization was inaccurate, but the section that lead to the discussion would be removed and studied during the interim.

SB97 regulates physicians, surgeons and osteopathic physicians and surgeons. It also creates oversight boards, defines how someone can get - or lose - a license to practice medicine and expands so-called "Good Samaritan" provisions to protect doctors who provide volunteer care from lawsuits unless they are grossly negligent.