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Shapiro & Appleton

Virginians Fight for Patient’s Rights in Healthcare Reform Bill

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Virginia families who lost loved ones due to medical malpractice and negligence gathered together to profess their desire to see a preservation and expansion of patient's rights in the new healthcare reform bill, according to Fox Business.com.

Patient's rights have been under attack disguised as a call for major "tort reform." This is such a fallacy, it borders on laughable. Instead of focusing on the real problem: nearly 100,000 people dying every year due to preventable medical errors, critics of health reform decry lawyers who represent victims of these errors and think limiting the amount an individual can obtain in a medical malpractice lawsuit will magically drive down our health care costs (not true, medical malpractice lawsuits account for less than 2 percent of health care costs).

"Many families have been devastated due to medical negligence," said Lisa Searcy of Scottsville, Virginia (VA) who lost her 4-year-old daughter from a surgical error. "The way to solve the problem of medical malpractice is to focus on patient safety and reducing errors, not taking away our rights."

I cannot agree more. I've represented multiple families in court and seen the tragic ramifications of medical negligence. People can have their lives practically ruined by these medical and surgical errors. They have every right to seek justice in a court of law.  

I know it's easy to ridicule lawyers (until you need one) but before you proclaim the necessity for major tort reform, think about what it would actually entail.

I agree some areas of tort law would benefit from revision, but restricting patient's rights and their ability to seek justice when they, or a loved one, has been seriously injured is simply unacceptable. Think about Lisa Searcy. The same tragedy could happen to you.

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