Bill in U.S. Senate would limit rights of victims in obstetric malpractice cases

(2/19/2004) - Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy group has reported that the U.S. Senate is seeking passage of a bill that would limit the legal rights of victims harmed in obstetric malpractice cases. According to Public Citizen, S. 2061, “Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Access to Care Act” has a number of serious problems:

* Following on the heels of a Medicare bill that was highly preferential to industry interests, the current medical malpractice bill would limit the liability of HMOs, pharmaceutical corporations and medical device manufacturers if a woman's reproductive health is involved.

* The proposed cap of $250,000 for non-economic damages is completely arbitrary and does not take into account the severity of injuries or the number of defendants; thus the proposed cap would hurt those women who have been injured the most.

* Rather than crack down on reckless doctors and drug companies, the bill would give them more protection, changing the standard for punitive damages against doctors from "recklessness" to one of "malicious intent," a charge that all but impossible to prove.

Interested consumers can send a free fax letter to their senators urging them to vote against this bill by going to the following link: