(a) A member of a duly appointed medical review committee who acts without malice or fraud shall not be subject to liability for damages in any civil action on account of any act, statement, or proceeding undertaken, made, or performed within the scope of the functions of the committee.
(b) The proceedings of a medical review committee, the records and materials it produces and the materials it considers shall be confidential and not considered public records within the meaning of G.S. 132-1, "Public records" defined, and shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action against a public health authority or a provider of professional health services which results from matters which are the subject of evaluation and review by the committee. No person who was in attendance at a meeting of the committee shall be required to testify in any civil action as to any evidence or other matters produced or presented during the proceedings of the committee or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of the committee or its members. However, information, documents, or records otherwise available are not immune from discovery or use in a civil action merely because they were presented during proceedings of the committee. A member of the committee or a person who testifies before the committee may testify in a civil action but cannot be asked about his testimony before the committee or any opinions formed as a result of the committee hearings. (1997-502, s. 1.)