In the wake of a multitude of medical malpractice claims, Wisconsin state officials are making strides to pass a law that would be believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Four state representatives gathered together to propose legislation that would pave the way for implementation of the “Julie Ayer Rubenzer Law,” named after a woman who died in 2003 due to being given an extensive amount of propofol during her breast enhancement operation. The law would require that any location where medical procedures are performed must “offer surgical patients the option to have their surgical procedures videotaped.”
After Julie Ayer’s death, her brother, Wade Ayer, was deeply affected by her passing. He decided to create a foundation called the National Organization for Medical Malpractice Victims to aid people who, like his sister, suffered at the hands of negligent medical professionals and organizations. Wade Ayer is one of the main participants who are pushing to pass this legislation.
In the aftermath of Ayer’s sister’s death, he was appalled to find out that prosecutors in Florida, the city where she overdosed, refused to pin charges on the doctor. Even after receiving word that the doctor did not use the services of an anesthesiologist and had his medical license revoked, prosecutors still opted against pressing charges. Ayers says that providing a “black box” in operating rooms with high end audio and video recorders would help the surviving members of the family build stronger medical malpractice cases for their loved ones.
“They have nowhere else to turn,” Ayers said regarding the families of malpractice victims. “Right now they can’t get the data they need to support them in a court of law.”
He also strongly advocates for a national database containing medical malpractice rulings and verdicts, as well as the names of all medical professionals involved.
As expected, hospital and medical associations have already started to vigorously contest the legislation by registering their opposition. A statement released by Kelly Court, the chief officer of the Wisconsin hospital association called the idea “ill-conceived.” The medical organizations are demanding details as to how the law would be implemented. Questions concerning the number of cameras in the room, who would be responsible for operating them, and how the patient’s information would remain anonymous have surfaced.
“Improving the quality and safety of care takes hard work, communication and commitment,” Court said. “Those efforts will hardly be furthered by this proposal.”
But representative Christine Sinicki says that legislation will benefit both potential victims and the accused medical professionals. She says that the law is not to single out doctors, but to help clarify situations for both parties involved in a medical malpractice case.
If you have been harmed as a result of the negligence of a medical professional or an organization, you may be entitled to compensation. Attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian are dedicated to getting you the best results possible. Call their office at (800) 529-6162 or contact them online. The firm handles cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
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