February 2011 Archives

February 23, 2011

Medical Malpractice Reform Should Focus On Patient Safety

Medical Malpractice reform has been receiving much attention recently with the introduction of H.R. 5, which seeks to impose national tort reforms measures, including the imposition of caps on non-economic damages as well as potentially taking away the right to trial by jury in some medical malpractice cases.

As New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers, we believe such measures often fail to address the real issue - patients safety. Study after study show that patients suffer significant harm and costs in hospitals due to adverse reactions from dangerous drugs, infections, surgical errors and unnecessary procedures. Rather than limiting victims' access to justice, more focus must be placed on improving patient safety and ensuring that those responsible for causing harm be held accountable.

Recent examples include the DePuy Hip, now shown to leak dangerous chemicals into the bodies of recipients. Often, the only way to get companies to remove dangerous products from the marketplace and be compensated for the harm caused is through litigation. Capping our damages or limiting access to the court room will remove an important incentive to improving the safety of our health care.

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