Bill makes it a crime to threaten and attack healthcare workers


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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — It would be a crime to physically attack or threaten a healthcare worker under a bill the Wisconsin Assembly must approve Wednesday.

The proposal with bipartisan support creates the new crime of assault and battery against a person who is a health care provider. It expands current law that makes it a crime to commit assault and battery against a nurse, emergency medical provider or person who works in an emergency department.

Two health workers discuss
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Healthcare providers told a public hearing earlier this month of cases where patients threatened doctors and others trying to provide care.

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The measure also makes it a crime to threaten a healthcare worker as part of their official duties or in response to something that happened in a healthcare facility. It also extends to family members of a health care provider.

He could face up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

FILE - In this Oct. 5, 2021 photo, a healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

FILE – In this Oct. 5, 2021 photo, a healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

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


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