News reports in the United States have focused much attention on the federal government’s recently revealed secret programs designed to surreptitiously intercept, monitor, store, and review routine communications involving U.S. citizens. In response to the revelations, the federal government seems to be attempting to win the public’s support (or lessen its disdain) for the ongoing programs by alleging that terrorist plots both in the United States and in other countries have been uncovered and thwarted as a result of the programs, thereby promoting our safety.
In any event, many U.S. citizens are either silent as to their support or their distrust of the programs, or respond apathetically: “I have nothing to hide … if the government wants to listen to my telephone calls or read my emails, I have nothing to hide.”
As the great American patriot and intellectual, Benjamin Franklin, warned: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” And as one of our greatest and most cherished documents created at the time of the formation of our country, the Declaration of Independence, declares, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness …”
Despite this warning and this declaration of our unalienable rights, many people are either apathetic or even support the actual or potential violations of their rights and privileges guaranteed to them by our forefathers, believing that they are not affected by such intrusive government programs because “they have nothing to hide.”
Why do we raise these matters in a blog regarding medical malpractice in the United States? Because we see unmistakable and remarkable parallels between some people’s current attitudes toward government intrusion into our privacy rights, and government intrusions into our right to seek and obtain fair and full compensation from those responsible for our injuries, losses, and harms due to medical negligence.
Whether we are debating government intrusion into our methods of communicating with others, or government intrusion into our long-entrenched, dearly-held right to have a jury determine and decide controversies between medical malpractice wrongdoers and their innocent victims, it is not for the few (or for the many) to decide for all of us that the government may interfere with or trample any of our rights, including but not limited to the right to have a jury of our peers decide medical malpractice cases (and not some arbitrary arbitration panel, medical malpractice review panel, or other government-mandated procedure).
It is not the province of anyone to interfere with a jury’s verdict, which must be given full force and effect in order for the constitutional right to a jury trial to have the intended meaning and effect. In order for the jury’s monetary verdict to be the final say in a civil matter, such as a medical malpractice case, it must not be subject to being reduced from the amount that the jury determined to be the fair compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and other non-economic injuries, as some invasive state laws require. Because many of these same states have such distrust and disdain for their own citizens and their capacity to be fair and just in the matters decided by them as jurors, they require that their juries not be informed at any time that their unanimous and unbiased verdict may be drastically reduced by a secret cap on noneconomic damages imposed by their arbitrary laws.
Many people seem to be unconcerned about arbitrary and senseless limits placed on the amount of medical malpractice damages that innocent victims may recover from negligent medical providers in their state because they believe, in part, that neither they nor their loved ones will ever be affected by medical malpractice that destroys lives and livelihoods – that is, “I have nothing to worry about – I will never be the victim of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice only happens to other people and doesn’t affect me.”
Wake up, America! An attack on the rights of some of us is an attack on the rights of all of us!
Constraints imposed on medical malpractice juries, caps (limitations) placed on the amount of damages that innocent victims of medical malpractice may recover, laws that make it harder for medical malpractice victims to find qualified experts willing to testify on their behalf regarding egregious harms that their negligent medical providers caused them to suffer, laws that intrusively impose additional and costly legal hoops that medical malpractice victims must jump through in order to obtain justice, and other government-imposed obstacles to obtaining justice are all attacks on our collective unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
An attack on any of our rights, whether its affects us personally or not, must not be allowed or condoned because a harm unnecessarily imposed on another is a harm suffered by each of us. When the government intrudes on the rights of one, the rights of all are subject to being violated. We must actively champion and protect the rights of the weak (medical malpractice victims) from the continuous attacks by those who enjoy much greater influence and power (the enormous healthcare industry in the U.S. whose financial resources can and do influence state legislators to pass laws that financially benefit them at the expense of medical malpractice victims).
If you or a loved one were injured by the medical negligence of a medical provider, you should promptly seek the legal advice of a medical malpractice attorney in your state to learn about your rights and your responsibilities in bringing a medical malpractice claim against the negligent wrongdoer.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in your efforts to obtain fair and adequate compensation for the injuries and other harms that you suffered due to medical malpractice.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.