Medical Amnesty Policy

Case Western Reserve University seeks to promote a community of care through providing Medical Amnesty for individuals and organizations who seek medical attention related to medical emergencies for alcohol and drugs. To ensure that a student obtain the help they need for these potentially life-threatening emergencies, CWRU seeks to reduce barriers to seeking assistance.

Case Western Reserve University’s Medical Amnesty Policy:

  1. eliminates judicial consequences for:
    • students and/or organizations seeking assistance
    • the assisted individual
    • others involved
  2. applies when the allegations under the Campus Code of Conduct or organization’s policies involve:
    • underage consumption of alcohol
    • use of drugs
    • disorderly conduct
  3. does not preclude disciplinary action regarding other violations, such as:
    1. causing or threatening physical harm
    2. sexual violence
    3. damage to property
    4. fake identification
    5. unlawful provision of alcohol or other drugs
    6. harassment
    7. hazing

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 Case Western Reserve 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 additional steps taken.

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.

Medical Amnesty does not negate the university’s obligation to notify the CWRU Police Department as required by Ohio State Law. The Medical Amnesty Policy represents the University's commitment to increasing the likelihood that community members will call for medical assistance when faced with an alcohol and drug emergency. The Medical Amnesty Policy 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.

*Adapted from Cornell University’s Good Samaritan Protocol

How to help a friend who drank too much

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal. If someone has had too much to drink or hurt themselves while drinking, call for help immediately and stay with the person until help arrives. In cases of a potential head injury, even if the person regains consciousness, he or she must be evaluated immediately.

Call 216.368.3333 if A, B, C, or D apply
  • A (Alert): inability to rouse a person with loud shouting or vigorous shaking; inability of a person who was passed out to stay awake for more than 2-3 minutes; vomiting while passed out; not waking up after vomiting; incoherent while vomiting
  • B (Breathing): slow or irregular breathing; lapses in breathing; weak pulse; very rapid or slow pulse
  • C (Color): skin is pale or bluish; clammy or cold
  • D (Doubt): unsure what’s happening; possible head injury; may have consumed other drugs
What to do
  • Don’t just let them "sleep it off."
  • Call for help. Dial 216.368.3333 for the CWRU Police Department.
  • Stay with the person until help arrives.
  • Turn the person on his/her side to prevent choking if the person vomits.
  • Be prepared to give the emergency medical personnel as much information as possible, including any drugs or medications taken.
What NOT to do
  • Do not hesitate to call 216.368.3333. The person's life is in danger. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Do not leave the person alone. The person may seem to be okay, but the alcohol ingested may take some time to be absorbed before peak levels are reached in the brain.
  • Do not leave the person lying on his/her back.
  • Do not try to give the person anything to eat or drink.
  • Do not put the person in a cold shower. The person could fall or the shock could make him/her pass out.
Calling 216.368.3333 for help is not a crime
  • In alcohol or other drug-related medical emergencies, the Medical Amnesty Policy can apply to the caller, the person in need of assistance and others at the scene.

Last Updated: July 10, 2014