A bipartisan judiciary committee is set to have a discussion on House Bill 4354 tomorrow. These committees are set up so that House and Senate members can hear the pros and cons of a bill prior to it going to the floor for voting and then becoming legislation. There are plenty of cons to HB 4354, as it would provide immunity from lawsuits (pdf) from ER doctors even in cases of negligence or misconduct. Naturally, this leaves patients with no recourse to address injuries from medical malpractice (pdf) and leaves doctors free to practice bad medicine without any consequences. Simply put, there would be nothing for a patient to do when faced with an obstetrical procedure, surgery, cardiac catheterization or other major medical procedure gone wrong at the hands of an ER doctor.
Medical Malpractice Claims Down in Michigan
Despite what some politicians would like you to believe, medical malpractice lawsuits are not at an all time high across the country. In fact, recent figures show that filings are down 80% in the last 30 years. These same politicians will tell you that this is an across-the-board “good thing”, as it cuts healthcare costs. Well, that’s not exactly true either, as a 2010 Harvard study found that healthcare costs related to medical malpractice lawsuits make up about 2.4% of the total healthcare costs of Americans. Similarly, a study by the Center for Progressive Reform found that payments made to injured patients and the costs of medical malpractice insurance for doctors amount to less than .3% of total healthcare costs per year. What is clear about bills like HB 4354 is that it will cost Michiganders without any security when faced with medical malpractice-related injuries or deaths.
Call Your Representative Today and Come to the Hearing
Needless to say, I strongly oppose this bill and I encourage you to contact your representative and oppose this bill today…not later, but NOW! You can also come to the judiciary committee hearing at 9 am tomorrow, October 24, at 124 North Capitol Avenue in the House Office Building. It could mean the difference between the ability to address medical malpractice or having to sit with irreparable injuries or even death from the ER with no recourse. Michiganders who visit the ER, a time of great vulnerability, fear, and often pain, should expect proper treatment from their ER doctors. If ER doctors cannot provide this type of care, Michiganders deserve to have avenues to address their poor treatment. Once you’ve contacted your representative, you could also contact the individual members of the judiciary committee:
Kevin Cotter (R) Chair
Klint Kesto (R) Majority Vice-Chair
Kurt Heise (R)
Bradford Jacobsen (R)
Joel Johnson (R)
Andrea LaFontaine (R)
Tom Leonard (R)
Phil Cavanagh (D)
Ellen Lipton (D)
Jeff Irwin (D)
Paul Clemente (D)
Please do this today and I hope to see you there!
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.