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News & Press: Legislative Updates

Halverson attends Capitol bill signing

Sunday, March 11, 2018  
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WPA Past President and Wisconsin Medical Society current Board Chair Jerry Halverson, MD, was in attendance Wednesday as Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a bill providing better clarity for medical personnel in difficult situations involving emergency detentions.

Assembly Bill 538, now enacted as 2017 Act 140, ensures that a patient cannot be transferred from a hospital’s emergency department (ED) for emergency detention until the ED determines that such a transfer is medically appropriate. The bill also clarifies how a health care professional can satisfy the “duty to warn” when it’s believed patients have a substantial probability of harming either themselves or others.

The state’s hospitals, counties and law enforcement entities collaborated on the new law; Dr. Halverson was a key physician providing input during the discussions.

The bills bipartisan authors include Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown, Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, Rep. Eric Genrich, D-Green Bay, and Sen. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville.