Personal Injury Lawyers

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Medical Malpractice Certificate, An Artificial Obstacle to Victims of Medical Negligence

In its April 11,2012 Op/Ed piece New London Day argues that the current law relating to the Certificate of Good Faith should remain as is. The Day of New London posits that the certificate from a “similar” health care provider, rather than a “qualified” health care provider is essential because the certificate is not subject to cross-examination. This artificial distinction only serves to bar the court house door to injured patients.

Consider a patient who develops a bed sore while in a nursing home through medical negligence. The patient is cared for by LPNs, RNs, an APRN (wound care certified) and a MD. The MD supervises each of the nursing specialties, knows the standard of care that applies to each and is “qualified” to testify as to each at trial. Nevertheless, the patient must obtain opinion letters from each nursing specialty in order to institute the claim.

It should be sufficient that the Certificate say why the opinion writer is qualified to offer an opinion relating to the specific specialty. Neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons who do the exact same surgery and are qualified to testify at trial should be able to provide the certificate. The current law only serves to bar legitimate claims. See Day