A representative to the Connecticut State House of Representatives who also is a physician was able to reverse a medical malpractice vote in the state May 3. The amendment had already passed the State Senate on a 32-3 vote.
Representative Prasad Srinivasan led the opposition to a bill that would’ve made it easier for patients to sue doctors for medical malpractice. After several hours of debate, the amendment was defeated on a 74-69 vote. Rep. Srinivasan, R-Glastonbury, practices medicine to treat patients with allergies.
The amendment was supported by the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, but opposed by medical organizations and hospitals. It would have allowed doctors practicing in a similar but not necessarily the same medical specialty to provide expert written testimony called a certificate of merit to criticize the medically negligent practice of another physician.
“Your peer judging has to be in the same specialty,” Srinivasan said.
The representative told his fellow house members how passing the amendment would adversely affect the practice of medicine in Connecticut. Specialist physicians, who had previously left the state, were returning, Srinivasan said, and if the amendment was passed it would discourage more specialists from returning, leaving a dearth of doctors practicing in certain areas.
A law making it easier to sue for malpractice would easily cause physicians to leave the state or retire he said. The current medical malpractice law, passed in 2005, is sufficient to prevent frivolous lawsuits, Srinivasan told his colleagues.
The Connecticut Medical Society affirmed Srinivasan’s position, testifying that doctors would bolt from the state if the pending amendment were passed.
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