Medical Malpractice Bill Could Hurt Patients in the End
Would you want to seek help for medical malpractice if you knew it may never reach the public? That’s a question some people are asking, because Kentucky’s state Senate is trying to push a bill for a medical review panel. This could result in people who are injured at hospitals or clinics heading to a medical review panels before they can — if they can — seek justice in courts.
According to the report from Feb. 19, medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Presently, when you’re hurt or lose a loved one due to medical malpractice or errors, you can go to court to seek compensation and to have the medical provider investigated. To do that, you’d have to have an attorney, prepare a case and head to court. Damages would be determined by the potential for future medical bills, noneconomic damages and other factors. In some states like Ohio and Illinois, caps on damages can make it difficult for patients to even get to court, because it’s not financially feasible for the attorneys to take on.
That’s not how things are meant to be, though, and the introduction of a medical review board doesn’t sit well with some people. The board would make it less likely that patients would have their cases heard in court, and it would be less likely for the case to reach the public, which is a major concern. With this new bill, the route to the courts would allegedly be obstructed, making the already-lengthy process of suing the medical provider even more expensive and difficult.
The delays could pose a problem. With any length of time that is longer than current wait times, patients can forget, move away, or pass away. It’s important that they have their cases heard in public as quickly as possible.