In my opinion, medical malpractice is not about a fight between doctors and lawyers. This bill is about every Iowan who has been negatively impacted by medical negligence performed by a medical professional who falls short of the standard of reasonable medical care. There are a lot of lobbyists in Des Moines, working to protect their groups. Lots of lobbyists for medical professionals, lawyers and insurance companies. There is not one lobbyist out there lobbying for the interest of the 13 Iowans who were seriously damaged or killed by medical malpractice. There is not one single lobbyist representing the common Iowan who wants to know that when they lose a loved one to medical malpractice, he has a process for justice.
Our founders designed a system that works on a case-by-case basis, judges and citizens sit and hear evidence, and then weigh it based on the law, they make a decision whether someone was at fault or not, and if so, how much the injured party is owed. Victims deserve justice on a case-by-case basis.
In a state with caps on noneconomic damages, a teenage boy traveled to a specialty hospital for brain surgery. Immediately post-op he did quite well and was taken off a lot of equipment so his surgeon left the hospital and soon after, the boy started having symptoms that could only be resolved with more surgery. Hospital staff worked tirelessly to contact the surgeon and save the boy’s life. When the surgeon was finally reached hours later, it was too late. When the child’s parents asked what he was doing he answered “…I was out to dinner with my family.” He was the only person in the hospital who could have saved this boy’s life. Again, that state has caps so this family had not where to turn for justice.
I don’t believe we can put a dollar value on life and that is just what the medical malpractice bill does. Nothing can bring back a life but doesn’t a family deserve justice? Let the jury decide.