Today, President Obama delivered a much-anticipated speech to the American Medical Association (AMA) about his comprehensive plan to reform the country’s health care system. For those of us who care deeply about the rights of those injured by preventable medical errors, articles like this on the front page of today’s New York Times had us bracing for the worst—and unfortunately, Obama’s speech didn’t exactly cushion the blow.
But even before the speech, a coalition of 64 courageous malpractice survivors from 21 states sent a letter to President Obama demanding to meet with him, and expressing extreme concern over his apparent willingness to “bargain” away their constitutional right to a jury trial.
“Patients deserve to have an unbiased judge and jury, which have heard all the facts and weighed all the evidence, decide if care is negligent and what the compensation for their loss should be. That decision should not be made by political officials or biased medical societies,” the survivors’ wrote.
CJ&D’s Executive Director Joanne Doroshow added, “Taxpayers have already been asked for billions of dollars to rescue Wall Street Banks. Now they may be asked to give up their constitutional rights. What’s next?”