Malpractice Proposal Is Justice Denied

by Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury Lawyers
Contact

A proposal under discussion in the South to dispense with juries in favor of a government agency to rule on medical malpractice is just the latest in a series of wrongheaded efforts to deprive victims of medical errors of their rights.

As described on the civil justice website PopTort.com, the proposal is favored by Richard L. Jackson, chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare, a professional health-care staffing agency. Does anyone else see the irony in its website, which promotes the company’s charitable efforts but whose leader is considerably less than giving when it comes to fairly compensating patients who have been harmed? His idea is to dump jury trials for anybody injured by medical malpractice in Georgia and Florida and replace them with a government body composed of political appointees and bureaucrats representing the medical and business communities.

These deciders would be empowered to develop “compensation schedules” completely divorced from the facts of any given case. That might be convenient for Jackson, his cronies and government workers who would be excused from exercising any judgment or thought, but whatever happened to the fundamental U.S. notion of grievances being adjudicated by a jury of one’s peers?

Was Jackson absent from school the day the Georgia Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a simple cap on noneconomic damages was unconstitutional? Did he not get that the court confirmed that the determination of damages rests “peculiarly within the province of the jury"?

Who died and left him in charge?

We’re so tired of the yammering about “tort reform,” which, as readers of this blog know, is code for “capping the amount of damages someone who has suffered a medical error can recover,” or otherwise hassling patients who have the temerity to try to hold the medical industry accountable for injuries.

As Pop Tort wonders:

Who believes that instituting a state-imposed rigid, dictatorial system of compensation schedules and liability standards for doctors, replacing what is now a free-market approach to holding health care providers accountable, is a good idea?

Who believes that it makes sense in this fiscal climate to create an entirely new governmental agency to handle what are a relatively small percentage of medical malpractice cases in our court system?

Who believes that a system in which catastrophically harmed children likely will be compensated at well below their actual losses, forcing families onto taxpayer-funded Medicaid, is a good idea?”


A story posted last week on DigitalJournal.com refers to a survey in which U.S. physicians said that traditional tort reform efforts such as caps on monetary damages for pain and suffering won’t address the higher costs associated with the practice of defensive medicine. That’s when doctors overtest, overprescribe and overtreat because, they say, they’re afraid of getting sued for malpractice if they don’t.

They’re right, of course, as we’ve noted in previous blogs, that malpractice caps don’t reduce costs or in any other way effect positive change.

The survey was conducted by Jackson Healthcare. In its summary, the company claimed that among the ideas floated about how to reform or replace the medical malpractice system, a no-fault, administrative patients’ compensation system would be most likely to curb the practice of defensive medicine.

Well, when you ask the inmates of the asylum if they’d like to have custody of the keys, what answer do you expect to receive?

The Center for Justice & Democracy, which sponsors Pop Tort, released its own study last week, “Georgia’s Patient Compensation System – A New State Agency That Will Harm Patients.” If you’re interested in a more analytical examination of what such a gross challenge to trial-by-jury would yield, we advise you read the one conducted by the experts instead of by the folks seeking not justice, but to cover their exposed backsides.

Remember, it’s the patients who wear the hospital gowns. It’s their exposure that deserves to be protected.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury Lawyers | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury Lawyers
Contact
more
less

Patrick Malone & Associates P.C. | DC Injury Lawyers on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.