Driven to fight malpractice cap; Bus tour in town to rip proposed 250G limit on lawsuits

Philadelphia Daily News
Thursday, February 6, 2003

Five weeks after she was married, Alison Wilcke Short had to undergo a radical hysterectomy, ending her lifelong dream of having a child. 

Short, now 35, had the operation in August 1999. A year-and-a-half earlier, she said, her pap smear was not properly diagnosed and treated by her ob-gyn. A subsequent medical procedure showed an increase in abnormal cells, but the same doctor didn't test them to see if they were malignant. 

Some time after that, the doctor took a second pap smear, but Short wasn't notified of the results until 10 months later. Then, she went to another doctor and learned the awful truth: she had cervical cancer and needed the hysterectomy. 

Patients like Short are Exhibit A for the argument against placing a $250,000 limit on damages for pain and suffering in medical-malpractice lawsuits. Caps are now emerging as a key issue in the debate over how best to deal with the medical-malpractice crisis engulfing the state.

Short, a residential real estate agent, spoke at a rally across from Independence Mall yesterday, part of a nationwide, 22-city "Medical Rights Bus Tour" that kicked off in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23. 

The tour is being sponsored by the New York-based Center for Justice & Democracy, which opposes capping damage awards in lawsuits.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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