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Emergency Room Malpractice Immunity

Doctors are asking the Connecticut legislature to pass a bill that would allow them to commit malpractice in the Emergency Room and deny the patient the right to be compensated for the patient’s injury.

Most of us like our doctors. Most of us have generally had good experiences with the medical profession. No one believes that a doctor ever intends to harm a patient. But doctors, like all humans, make mistakes. Unlike the car mechanic or the carpenter, medical errors are often life-altering or fatal. The effect of this Connecticut law, if passed, would allow Emergency Room doctors, in Connecticut, to avoid a claim by their patients no matter the seriousness the harm.

Consider this: A person is in a car accident. They are taken to the emergency room with neck complaints. An x-ray is taken and read as normal. In fact, the x-ray shows a broken vertebrae. The patient is released and sent home. On the way, the patient turns his head and severs his spinal cord and dies.

Under the proposed law an Emergency Room doctor who fails to meet the standard of care would be immune from a claim by the patient. There would be no compensation for an act of medical negligence. Remember, under the current law the patient still has to prove the case. Medical negligence claims are not intended to harm the doctor. The purpose is to compensate the patient, who, through no fault of his own has suffered an injury. All patients are asking for is a fair system. Not a system that excludes them.