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Good Samaritan Protocol

Gannett Health Services
110 Ho Plaza
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3101

Tel: 607 255-5155
Fax: 607 255-0269

Do the right thing:                Call 911 for help

Formerly known as the Medical Amnesty Protocol (MAP)

What is Cornell's Good Samaritan Protocol?

It is imperative someone call for medical assistance when individual experiences severe intoxication or a serious injury after consuming alcohol or other drugs (AOD). Because these emergencies are potentially life-threatening, Cornell seeks to reduce barriers to seeking assistance. To this end, the Good Samaritan Protocol has been developed. Cornell’s Good Samaritan Protocol:

a) applies when the allegations under the Campus Code of Conduct involve:

  • underage consumption of alcohol
  • use of drugs
  • disorderly conduct

b) eliminates judicial consequences for:

  • students seeking assistance (those involved in making the call)
  • the assisted individual

c) mitigates judicial consequences for:

  • organizations seeking assistance

d) does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations, such as:

  • causing or threatening physical harm
  • sexual violence 
  • damage to property
  • fake identification
  • unlawful provision of alcohol or other drugs
  • harassment
  • hazing

This Cornell Protocol is similar to New York State’s Good Samaritan law, but Cornell’s Good Samaritan Protocol applies only to university policies and New York’s Good Samaritan law only applies to state law.
In order for this protocol to apply, the assisted student must agree to timely completion of assigned alcohol and/or drug education activities,*  assessment, and/or treatment (assigned by Cornell University depending on the level of concern for student health and safety). 

  • Failure to complete recommended follow-up will normally result in revocation of judicial amnesty.
  • Repeated incidents may prompt a higher degree of medical concern with the possibility of non-judicial university responses, such as parental notification and health leaves of absence.

Likewise, organizations involved in an incident must agree to take recommended steps to address concerns, such as educational follow up.  Multiple incidents may result in revocation of an organization’s recognition. 

This protocol is part of Cornell’s comprehensive approach to reducing the harmful consequences caused by the use of alcohol or other drugs.  The following offices have agreed to implement this protocol: Cornell University Police Department; Office of the Judicial Administrator; Dean of Students Office; Office of Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living; Residential Programs; and Gannett Health Services.

The Good Samaritan Protocol represents the University's commitment to increasing the likelihood that community members will call for medical assistance when faced with an AOD emergency. The Good Samaritan Protocol also promotes education for individuals who receive emergency medical attention related to their own use of alcohol or other drugs in order to reduce the likelihood of future occurrences.

 * For the first incident, the BASICS program (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) will be utilized. For subsequent incidents, appropriate interventions will be handled on a case by case basis.

A note about fraternities

On March 2011, the student-run Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) passed a resolution which resolved to apply Medical Amnesty/Good Sam within their organization. The Good Samaritan Protocol is also incorporated into the Fraternity and Sorority Life Event Management Guidelines.

What impact has this program had at Cornell?

Since the implementation of this protocol in the fall of 2002, we have found an increase in on-campus alcohol-related calls to the emergency medical services (EMS). However, the percent of these calls requiring a hospital emergency room visit has decreased. 

For findings regarding the efficacy of the protocol, as well as suggestions for other campuses considering replicating MAP/Good Samaritan, please see the International Journal of Drug Policy, July 2006.

Web links/resources

Cornell Pages



If you have any questions regarding the Good Samaritan Protocol, please contact:

The Office of the Judicial Administrator
120 Day Hall
607 255-4680

Safety first

Read  the "Safety First" case study (pdf) of Cornell's Medical Amnesty Protocol, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 17, Issue 4, July 2006.


A decade of impact

CUEMS transports MAP

View data related to AOD-related hospital transports over the past decade (pdf). Since the implementation of this Protocol, we see a steady rise in the number of on campus alcohol-related 911 calls, but the percent ill enough to require transport to the hospital has declined. This suggests students are more inclinded to call for help— not that they are drinking in more dangerous ways.


Helping a friend

What does it mean to "be a good friend" in a situation that involves an alcohol emergency? Learn more