Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Health v. Guns

Before I go further with the information I have to provide for you, I would ask that you sit back and think about what might be the reaction if our Michigan state legislators were to pass a bill banning all guns in the state.  The uproar would be instantaneous and loud, if not explosive.  Gun enthusiasts would literally be up in arms over the violation of their second amendment right to bear arms and they would be right.  My blog this morning is to alert you to an equally improper attempt to eliminate effectively the seventh amendment to the same constitution that grants the right to bear arms.  I am speaking of the right to jury trial in the state of Michigan insofar as it pertains to claims of medical negligence.
There are several bills recently introduced in the Michigan legislature by, among others, one doctor-legislator who has been the subject of multiple malpractice claims. In my 35 years of handling claims of professional negligence, my doctor/clients whose family members have been killed or maimed by other doctors have been the most vocal in asserting their right to sue and have doctors who commit professional negligence be held accountable for the damage they cause.  One of the reasons for these doctor/clients of mine in asserting their constitutional right to civil jury trial has been that they know and understand full well the concept of professional negligence. That standard, quite simply, requires that a physician do what a physician of equal learning and training would or would not due under similar circumstances. In other words, the medical profession itself sets the standard of expected conduct.
Pending Senate Bill 1116 (SB1116) would change the standard to which a doctor will be held accountable.  It changes the standard from what the reasonable doctor should do to whether or not a doctor "believed" he/she was acting in your best interest. If the doctor testifies that he/she believed he/she was acting in the patient’s best interest, the case would be dismissed; end of story. The Michigan doctor will not be held accountable for cutting off the wrong leg if he “believed” he was cutting off the right leg.  Greg Bereznoff, a good friend and excellent trial lawyer, describes this intended result as “pure Insanity” for Michigan patients. If this bill is passed and if the House and Senate give the bill immediate effect it will  apply it to all pending cases.  This law will be a gold plated invitation to incompetent doctors to come to the state of Michigan where they can't be sued again. No other state has such a rule. Please call your state senator and representative and tell them to vote no on all malpractice reform bills. The link to the complete bill is http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2012-SB-1116.  You can contact your local state representatives and ask them to defeat this pending disaster.  http://www.aaa1b.com/advocacy/contact-your-lawmaker/
 How the people of our state should be treated should not be decided by special interest groups or vindictive physicians.

The health and safety of our citizens in Michigan is an important constitutional right as the right to bear arms, if not more so.  Just saying . . . 

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