Secret service detains Pembroke man: Questioning takes place during Washington visit for malpractice-limit protest

Massachusetts’ Patriot Ledger
Thursday, March 6, 2003

Pembroke man opposed to legislation that would cap medical malpractice awards was detained and questioned by the Secret Service on Tuesday after failing to gain entry to President Bush's speech to the American Medical Association.

John McCormack, who traveled to the nation's capital to protest a proposal that would limit noneconomic malpractice damages to $250,000, said he was interrogated for at least 25 minutes in the basement security office of the Washington Hilton, where Bush unveiled his Medicare prescription drug plan.

McCormack was released and no charges were filed, but he said he was appalled at the way he was treated.

‘‘I wasn't there to make waves and didn't mean to cause a stir,'' said McCormack, whose daughter died 21 2 years ago at Boston's Children's Hospital when a shunt placed in her skull to drain fluid stopped functioning. ‘‘I just wanted them to be aware why we were there.''

Secret Service agent and spokesman Marc Connolly said he was prohibited from commenting on the case because McCormack was not formally charged.

In an effort organized by the Center for Justice and Democracy, McCormack joined malpractice victims and family members from six states who were in Washington this week to lobby politicians. Their trip was timed to coincide with the meeting of the AMA, which favors malpractice caps because of rising insurance rates.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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