AMA Resolution 202 – plaintiffs’ lawyers to receive emergency care

A resolution has been put forth to an AMA committe stating that doctors should treat plaintiffs’ lawyers (and their spouses) in cases of emergencies.

Resolution 202 has been introduced by Dr. J. Chris Hawk III* from South Carolina to the AMA’s Committee B includes…

“RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association notify physicians that, except in emergencies and except as otherwise required by law or other professional regulation, it is not unethical to refuse care to plaintiffs’ attorneys and their spouses.”

the full resolution can be found on the AMA site (and is restated below)

Charleston.net news story (registration required)

Negative Commentary from Ralph Nader can be found here.

I have not found any positive commentary on the Web.

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Resolution: 202 (A-04)

Introduced by: J. Chris Hawk, III, MD, Delegate, South Carolina

Subject: Reform of Civil Justice System

Referred to: Reference Committee B (Michael J. Fischer, MD, Chair)

Whereas, Tort reform has been our number one legislative priority; and

Whereas, Our American Medical Association has been concentrating on MICRA-like reform, particularly a cap on non-economic damages, when in fact we need major reform of the entire civil justice system; and

Whereas, Our current efforts at tort reform have failed at a national level; and

Whereas, We need to get beyond tort reform to other issues that are vital to medicine and our patients; and

Whereas, Patients’ access to medical care has diminished progressively and is likely to continue to do so, due to high malpractice insurance premiums forcing physicians to reduce their scope of practice, relocate, and retire early; and

Whereas, Our Principles of Medical Ethics IX states, “A physician shall support access to medical care for all people”; and

Whereas, If trial attorneys were given the opportunity to experience the access problems caused by the professional liability crisis, then perhaps they would be willing to help change the system; and

Whereas, Our Principles of Medical Ethics VI states, “A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care” therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association notify physicians that, except in emergencies and except as otherwise required by law or other professional regulation, it is not unethical to refuse care to plaintiffs’ attorneys and their spouses (New HOD Policy); and

RESOLVED, That our AMA organize a national task force, forum, or town meeting to reform the civil justice system, or get medical professional liability moved to an alternate dispute system, with report back by the 2005 Annual Meeting (Directive to Take Action); and

RESOLVED, That our AMA continue our efforts to reform the US health care system. (Directive to Take Action)

Fiscal Note: Implement accordingly at estimated staff cost of $18,366.

Received: 4/22/04

*Dr. Chris Hawk III has been the Doctor of the Day on numerous days

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