College and Unversity Alcohol Amnesty ("Good Samaritan") Policies

Medical amnesty policies for students at colleges and universities are becoming wide-spread.

Sometimes called "Good Samaritan" policies, they are designed to protect the health and lives of students who over-consume alcohol to the point of needing medical help by assuring them that they will not be subject to disciplinary actions for obtaining that help. Such policies typically provide amnesty only if they subsequently successfully complete an intervention or alcohol education program.

Amnesty programs are a harm reduction policy. Other harm reduction policies require people to use seat safety belts or to use smoke detectors in their living quarters.

Some critics have suggested that alcohol amnesty policies encourage abusive drinking. However, few people would argue that requiring seat belts leads people to drive faster or that smoke detectors lead people to smoke in bed. Not punishing those who seek help for a medical emergency but requiring them to undergo intervention or alcohol education does not encourage them to endanger their lives again.

Colleges that lack medical amnesty policies may be putting the safety of their students at risk and might well find themselves sued and held legally liable for not having sensible or reasonable policies to protect their students.

Hundreds of colleges and universities have adopted medical amnesty policies because of the high value they place on protecting their students from harm or death. A partial list of these concerned and committed institutions includes:

Note: This website is informational only and does not provide any health, medical, legal or other advice or opinion and none should be inferred.

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