Docs launch new med-mal reform campaign

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

A phalanx of mostly Republican legislators and health care professionals on Tuesday called for far-reaching reforms to try to bring down the cost of medical malpractice premiums for Illinois doctors, while discussions brokered by the governor's office are apparently sputtering.

Amber M. Hard, staff director of the Center for Justice and Democracy, said the medical society's legislation would do little to lower insurance rates and keep doctors in Illinois.
"It is outrageous for ISMIE the society's insurance company to propose taking away patients' rights with these damage caps, while also proposing huge fines to hide the information that the public can use to see if their skyrocketing rates are justified in the first place," Hard said.
Three women who described themselves as the victims of medical malpractice pleaded through tears to not allow caps in malpractice cases.
Mary T. Steinberg of Chicago lost her husband a year ago after a four-inch piece of a surgical instrument was left in his abdomen during surgery.
She lashed out at ISMIE's proposed $ 250,000 cap on non-economic damages.
"In our society, this is how we settle disputes, in the courts," Steinberg said. "And monetary rewards is the vehicle for that. To say that my husband's life is worth $ 250,000, and, what I have gone through, and continue to go through, is just insulting."
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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