Monday, January 20, 2003

Regarding the potential medical malpractice tort deform, you should call, write or email your Senators and Representative to discourage them from changing tort laws relating to physicians, pharmaceutical companies and health care providers. The specific change called for by Congressman Dr. Bill Frist is a $250,000 cap on 'noneconomic' malpractice damage awards, which includes such things as disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability.

Thus, under Dr. Frist's proposal:
(a) Doctor cuts off the wrong leg of a 2 year old -> $250,000 is the maximum ever available for disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability.
(b) Doctor cuts off the wrong arm of a 40 year old with 3 children -> $250,000 is the maximum ever available for disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability.
(c) Doctor negligently kills a 30 year old mother of 2 children who dies after a month of sufffering -> $250,000 is the maximum ever available for disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability.
(d) Doctor negligently kills a 30 year old mother of 2 children who dies after 2 years of sufffering -> $250,000 is the maximum ever available for disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability.

Check out some of the public information available at http://www.questionabledoctors.org/ and http://www.worstpills.org/. Millions of people have been and are affected by medical negligence and dangerous pharmaceutical products and if Dr. Frist gets the radical changes he is looking for, the public will be at risk and we will all be effected.

Wisconsin citizens will not find public information relating to the medical malpractice of a negligent Wisconsin doctor and physician on these sites. However, the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing's Reports of Decisions December 1998 to Present that allows you to type in the last name of the license holder, the profession, or text you wish to search. The decisions "routinely included are decisions in cases initiated by the filing of a formal complaint or petition for summary suspension, disciplinary decisions reached through stipulation, cases dismissed without discipline, interim orders staying imposition of discipline, and orders modifying limitations previously imposed." You may also file a complaint against a Wisconsin physician by phoning 608/266-7482. You may also contact the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board at 608/266-2811 as this Wisconsin entity reviews and is supposed to act on complaints made against Wisconsin doctors. I do not suggest contacting the Wisconsin Medical Society as this is a professional organization that actually represents many Wisconsin physicians, Wisconsin residents and Wisconsin medical school students.

For filing complaints or discussing problems relating to Wisconsin health care providers other than Wisconsin doctors or Wisconsin physicians, go to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services - "If You Have a Problem Page".