Malpractice Victims Respond to Myth of “Frivolous Lawsuits”

A group of malpractice victims who met with White House officials last year have just sent this new letter to the President:

January 28, 2011
President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:

On March 1, 2010, the undersigned five survivors of medical negligence and family members had the honor of meeting with the White House Office of Public Engagement about the issue of medical malpractice. We were extremely grateful for this opportunity.

We noted in our July 7, 2009 letter to you requesting this meeting that, “People like us and our families certainly do not feel as though doctors and hospitals practice too much ‘defensive medicine,’ or that lawsuits against negligent providers are frivolous, or that there is any justification for eliminating or restricting the right to jury trial in medical malpractice cases.” We wanted the opportunity to explain to you why patients injured by medical malpractice should not be blamed for our nation’s health care costs, and that the only real medical malpractice problem in this country today is the unacceptable amount of preventable errors and negligence.

We asked for a chance to be heard and we were hoping that we were. For example, one of the things for which we asked at this meeting was that you not continue to use the language “frivolous lawsuits” to describe this nation’s malpractice problems. Frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are rare; medical errors are rampant. This language is incredibly hurtful to those of us who have been devastated by medical negligence and have sought justice in the courts.

At this meeting, we were told that this was one request that seemed “doable.” It is now apparent that the results of this meeting were not communicated. Therefore, we are again respectfully requesting a White House meeting, but this time with you or an office that will communicate the results of the meeting to you directly.

Thank you for considering this request. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Molly Akers,
New Lenox, IL
Kaitlyn, Mark, and Dr. Amy Fought,
Blacksburg, VA
Dylan Malone,
Everett, WA
Kathy, Scott, and Steven Olsen Chula Vista, CA
Patty Skolnik Denver, CO

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