UPDATE – AZ Senate: Women can’t sue doctors

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Arizona Politics, Constitutional Issue, Disgusted in AZ, Healthcare, Legislation, Women's Issues
Tags: , , , , ,

UPDATES:

1.  Don’t forget to sign my petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/the-arizona-state-house-of-representatives-vote-no-on-the-wrongful-births-bill-senate-bill-1359

2.  I emailed the AZ House Majority Leadership and my district’s Rep the email in italics below.  Feel free to copy and use if you live in AZ.  Their addresses are:

House Majority Leader, scourt@azleg.gov (R)
House Majority Whip, dlesko@azleg.gov (R)
House Speaker Pro Tempore, smontenegro@azleg.gov (R)
My Rep, areeve@azleg.gov (R)

3.  I also emailed all of the AZ House Minority Leaders as well with something very similar except I added a request for information on what else I (we) can do to stop this bill.  Those Reps’ addresses are:

House Minority Leader, mheinz@azleg.gov (D)
Asst House Minority Leader, sfarley@azleg.gov (D)
House Minority Whip, atovar@azleg.gov (D)

4.  I emailed the VP of the Arizona Medical Association and the national AMA and asked what their official stance is on this bill or bills like it.  The VP of ARMA:  dlandrith@azmedassn.org  National AMA:  https://extapps.ama-assn.org/contactus/contactusMain.do

______________________________

Dear Representatives Court, Lesko and Montenegro,

This email is to express my opposition to the recent bill passed by the Arizona Senate regarding “wrongful birth” #1359 that may be coming up in the House for your consideration. The language of this bill is far too broad and would allow grievous harm to come to both women and their unborn babies.

It is never a good idea to introduce suspicion into the relationship of a patient and their doctor, and that’s what this bill would do. I, and many other women will tell you, that if a doctor is given explicit legal permission to lie to female patients, we WILL stop trusting them. This will cause insurance prices to rise because women will now be forced to seek multiple opinions in order to ensure that we are being told the truth. Furthermore, the standard proposed in the bill of “intentional or grossly negligent acts” is far too high. It is very difficult to prove that a doctor knew and purposely caused harm. And as for the “mens rea” of gross negligence, this bill would allow implicitly allow doctors to engage in less than gross negligence with impunity. That is simply unacceptable. We’re talking about the life and health of unborn children, the mother, and the entire family for the lifetime of that child. This is not an area of medical practice that allows for such “wiggle room”.

Moreover, this bill will not accomplish any of its objectives. Medical Malpractice only accounts for 3.2% on average of a doctor’s annual revenue (source: http://www.citizen.org/congress/article_redirect.cfm?ID=9125). In regards to rising health care costs in general, medical malpractice accounts for less than 2% of health care costs in the U.S. (source: http://www.insurance-reform.org/pr/AIRhealthcosts.pdf). Study after study have shown that such reforms do not work because they actually cause more harm and do not affect the rising cost of health care. There are many other reforms that would have a greater impact on rising health care costs, that would not jeopardize the trust between doctors and patients, would result in much less harm coming to women and their unborn children, and would reduce the need for abortions. I am all for health care reform and reducing the number of abortions, but not in this way.

I strongly oppose this bill. Please vote NO on the “Wrongful Birth” Bill (Senate Bill #1359).

Respectfully,
(Your Name)
(Your AZ Address)

Below is the original post:

Do you trust your doctor to tell you everything so you can make an informed decision? I used to, but now I am no longer sure. The AZ Senate passed a bill (#1359) yesterday that says doctors are allowed to keep information about a woman’s pregnancy to themselves if the doctor thinks that information might cause a woman to get an abortion AND a woman cannot sue the doctor for withholding the information. Read the rest….

 

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