South Carolina med school asks students to sign COVID-19 liability waiver

A medical school in South Carolina is asking students to sign a waiver absolving the school of liability if they develop COVID-19 while on clinical rotations, school officials told MedPage Today.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville has asked students to sign the waiver, which states that they acknowledge the risk they face associated with COVID-19 as they enter clinical rotations. Not signing the waiver could result in a delayed graduation.

Signing the waiver means students cannot take any legal action against the school or the state of South Carolina for being exposed to or contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus in connection with their participation in the clinical rotation, MedPage Today reported. If students do not sign the waiver, they will be kept out of clinical rotations, which could cause delays in completing their medical education.

"Future doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health professionals are tasked with understanding the challenges they face as they return to in-person patient care," Marjorie Jenkins, MD, the medical school's dean told MedPage Today. The goal of the school is to "ensure students know what to expect when they enter the clinical environment."

The waiver was discussed on message boards on the internet, with one Reddit user posting: "I think the waiving of liability is insane. Nobody can guarantee you won't get COVID on the wards but they shouldn't be like 'tough, that's on you to deal with.' Students are a captive population."

Others defended the waiver policy, writing: "Seems somewhat reasonable ... you can stay in and graduate on time or stay out and graduate later."

 

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