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A Free Pass For ER Doctors?

If you suffer a serious injury, whether from atruck accident, bus accident, work injury,explosion, product failure, or just negligence, you will probably wind up in a hospitalemergency room. The law in most states requires the ER doctors (like all other doctors) to treat their patients in a reasonable or “within standard” manner.

However, PATIENTS BEWARE! The special interest groups representing some doctors are lobbying Ohio lawmakers hard for a new standard that lets guilty doctors have a free pass.

That’s right. Special interest groups on behalf of doctors have pressed the Ohio legislature to introduce 2 bills to date, changing Ohio law regarding the duty certain doctors owe to theirpatients. The latest version died for lack of support with the former Ohio House of Representative and Governor. Now, with new members in the House and a new Governor, those same special interest groups have promised a return to reducing doctor responsibilityin Ohio.

So, what’s their excuse? Why would they ask for immunity from their own negligence? MONEY!! Perhaps this would be a candidate for the show called, “American Greed“. ER doctors in the midwest make about $2-300,000 per year, after paying malpracticeinsurance and administrative costs. Some make a lot more. Doctor groups have convinced some legislators that more doctors will be attracted to rural areas, more people will become ER doctors and lawsuits against doctors are a “crisis”. These ‘reasons’ are simply not true.

Consider that ER residencies are all full, year after year. In other words, there is no problem getting people interested in being ER doctors. It’s a popular specialty. More people prefer urban or suburban living. It’s the same with doctors. Allowing them to ‘get away with negligent conduct’ wont make more doctors move to sparsely populated areas. Further, Ohio Supreme Court statistics show a very low, and falling, number of professional negligencecases. No crisis, period.

So what does this mean to us? If passed, as it was by the Ohio Senate last year, negligent doctors get off free and their seriously injured victims are supported by the rest of us. It might help to keep Ohio safe from negligent doctors if everyone sent a note to their state senator and representative with their opinion on ER immunity. Shouldn’t everyone be responsible for their actions? Even ER doctors?

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