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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration


Three Years Later: Still no Medical Amnesty

Safeguard Old State’s very own Tom Shakely wrote a Letter to the Editor during his Freshman year, calling for a Medical Amnesty Policy. Now UPUA Legal Affairs is again trying for this policy. This time around it must become a reality.

Below is the letter of which young Thomas wrote to the Daily Collegian. You can find the actual letter here.

A medical amnesty program is something many universities offer wherein students can receive necessary medical attention in cases of injury while intoxicated without being later slammed with a citation for underage drinking.

Medical amnesty programs exist not to shield students from the responsibility that comes along with their actions, but rather to ensure that students are not deterred from seeking many times urgently needed medical attention in cases of injury, overdose, etc. from fear of later university or state reprisal.

What is most surprising is not that many schools care about their students enough to offer them a pass when involved in a potentially life threatening situation, but rather that a school as large, well known and respected as Penn State fails to have such a program

Penn State actively fails its students in its exclusion of such a policy. A student will not be nearly as likely to call an ambulance, even if seriously injured, if that student knows he will lose his license for anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more.

Decide for yourself whether Penn State is doing what is necessary for the long-term protection of its student population.

If you don’t care enough to take action now, will you care enough to take action when you or your friends or loved ones are faced with the choice between seeking life-saving medical attention or keeping their license and job?

Ask yourself whether you can defend your university’s policy when it doesn’t defend you.

Tom Shakely

freshman – political science

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