Protect Patients' Rights, Protect Patients' Lives

Today we have a guest post from the President from the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Mary Alice McLarty. 

This morning CNN published an op-ed I authored on the preventable medical error crisis that kills 98,000 Americans every year.  In my article I focused on patient safety and highlighted the importance of the civil justice system.  I also challenged the talking points used by people trying to limit patients’ rights:

The civil justice system gives families of patients who have died or have been injured by medical negligence an avenue to seek accountability. It also provides an incentive to health care providers to improve patient care. Removing that accountability and incentive leaves people at risk for more injures from negligent care.


The calls for medical malpractice reform are misguided because they center on stripping away patients' rights when they should be focused on preventing the deaths and injuries from occurring in the first place.

I used my home state of Texas to provide an example on how so-called “tort reform” will not lower health care costs, improve quality, or protect patients.

You can read the full op-ed online here.  

For more information on this issue, AAJ released an extensive primer to dispel the myths of “tort reform” and underscore the importance of preventing medical errors and improving patient safety. The primer can be viewed here (PDF). You can also find more information on the medical errors issue page on Take Justice Back.