Regarding "Illinois' Med Mal Law on Trial" (Aug. 18): Amid all the arguments over the upcoming Supreme Court decision on Illinois' medical malpractice caps, the people whom caps really hurt too often are forgotten. At their core, "caps" prevent the victims of tragic, avoidable medical mistakes from seeking fair compensation for a lifetime of harm.
Caps weaken the authority of our judges and jurors by placing a one-size-fits-all label on victims' tragedies. They apply no matter how egregious the misconduct or devastating the injury. And they have been shown to disproportionately hurt senior citizens, minorities, women and children. Clearly, juries are better able to determine compensation in individual cases than politicians in Springfield, Ill.
Yet, "tort reformers" ignore these brutal consequences and instead cite discredited rankings compiled by big business and its front groups. All this really does is shift the focus away from innocent victims, the people whose lives are changed forever by no fault of their own.
Discussion should get to the heart of the issue and explore how these caps actually limit patients' constitutional rights.
Fortunately, the Illinois Supreme Court has seen through tort reformers' distortions and twice has struck down similar cruel limits. We hope it continues to uphold the Illinois constitution and allow injured children and their families to be compensated adequately for the unimaginable harm caused by gross medical negligence.