Did you know that more than 98,000 people die every year as a result of preventable medical mistakes? Such medical malpractice is the sixth most common cause of death in the United States.
Currently, residents of New York are able to seek justice after injuries or fatalities caused by medical negligence. Unfortunately, front groups for major corporations are seeking to change the civil justice system in ways that limit accountability when patients are harmed or killed because of medical negligence. And these front groups have already succeeded in many other states.
Those who would take this right away like to call their efforts “tort reform.” However, the only beneficiaries of tort reform are the major corporations who own hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and insurance companies.
In addition to their efforts at the state level, the tort reformers are fighting at the federal level. In March of 2012, the House of Representatives passed a health care act that, if enacted, would remove any incentives for patient safety, leave patients at risk, and take away the legal rights of patients injured by medical malpractice. It would impose uniform caps on damages without regard to the severity of the injury or the negligence that caused it.
The bill, “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely, Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2011” (H.R. 5) on March 22, would also limit damages for injuries caused by defective drugs and medical devices as well as for abuse suffered in nursing homes. Enactment of this bill would be a major blow to patients and their families and to patient safety advocates in New York and throughout the United States.
Source: Take Justice Back, “Medical Errors.”