Scarnati Amendment Would Increase Penalties for
Impersonating a Doctor in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG – Legislation that now includes an increase to penalties for impersonating a physician in Pennsylvania, was unanimously passed by the Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati explained that House Bill 1357 was originally introduced to increase the penalties for impersonating public officials. Scarnati then offered an amendment to the bill to also increase violations for impersonating a physician.

“Impersonating a physician can have dire consequences for individuals who unknowingly place their healthcare in the hands of someone who is not properly trained,” Scarnati said. “My amendment was aimed at helping to protect those seeking medical advice and treatment.”

According to Scarnati, his amendment increased the offense from a second degree misdemeanor to a misdemeanor of the first degree. A measure to make this change was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Matt Baker.

“I commend my colleague in the House, Representative Matt Baker on his work to advance this protection measure,” Scarnati stated. “In 2011, a Philadelphia Grand Jury brought to light instances of physician impersonation while investigating the Abortion Clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. My hope is that with making these changes, we will decrease the likelihood that these crimes will recur.”

House Bill 1357 has been sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence.

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