Health care worker attacks; Assembly passes bill making them felonies

Wisconsin Assembly

It would be a felony to threaten a health care worker under a bipartisan bill the Wisconsin Assembly passed on Wednesday.

Health care providers told stories at a public hearing earlier this month about times when patients have threatened doctors and others who were attempting to provide them care.

The measure makes it a felony to threaten a health care worker in their official capacity or in reaction to something that happened at a health care facility. It also extends to family members of a health care provider.

It would be punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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The Assembly passed it on a voice vote with no debate. The measure must pass the Senate and be approved by Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.

The proposal also creates the new felony crime of battery against a person who is a health care provider. It expands current law that makes it a felony to commit battery against a nurse, an emergency medical care provider or a person who is working in an emergency department.

The measure has broad support from more than two dozen health care and law enforcement organizations, including the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, SSM Health and the Marshfield Clinic Health Care System.

The proposal also creates the new felony crime of battery against a person who is a health care provider. It expands current law that makes it a felony to commit battery against a nurse, an emergency medical care provider or a person who is working in an emergency department.

The measure has broad support from more than two dozen health care and law enforcement organizations, including the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, SSM Health and the Marshfield Clinic Health Care System.

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