Letter to the Editor: The Future of Medical Malpractice

New York Times
Monday, December 27, 2004

Re ''Debate on Malpractice Looms for Senate'' (news article, Dec. 20):
The most severe effect of the medical malpractice bill that President Bush and the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, are pushing will be on those who are most seriously injured, like brain-damaged children, because of the proposed $250,000 cap on damages. The proposal will also do nothing to help doctors with insurance problems because the solutions lie with the insurance industry, not the legal system.
Perhaps the most incredible feature in the bill is that it includes special legal loopholes for pharmaceutical companies that put unsafe F.D.A.-approved drugs -- drugs that may cause injury or death -- on the market. Most Americans would agree that drug companies that disregard their responsibilities as corporate citizens should not be rewarded for their behavior. Yet that is exactly what might happen under this bill.
With all the problems facing the country today, one has to wonder why this bill, which will cause Americans to suffer and die, has suddenly become such a priority for this administration.
Joanne Doroshow
Executive Director
Center for Justice and Democracy
New York, NY

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