“Patients Right to Know” Amendment Survives Another Attack by Healthcare Industry
Tired of hospital errors being hidden from them, Florida voters in 2004 passed what is known as Amendment 7, or the “Florida Patients Right to Know” Amendment. This amendment to the state constitution allows people to find out the truth about hospital malpractice and their own doctors’ track records of mistakes.
Through this amendment, patients are empowered to make health care decisions with a complete view of a doctor’s or hospital’s history of error and negligence. This level of transparency is very important when patients are faced with making informed decisions in matters of life or death.
Since its passage, the healthcare industry has done everything it can to put roadblocks in the way of access to these records of malpractice—even when the hospital’s own investigation confirms that malpractice occurred. Patients’ rights attorneys have fought to ensure the intent of the amendment is fulfilled.
The first case affirming the peoples’ rights to access this important information was handled by DCW partner Sean Domnick. In that case, the Florida Supreme Court held that the amendment’s purpose was to provide people with access to information about their healthcare providers so they could make informed decisions on doctors and hospitals and struck down laws meant to inhibit full implementation of the “The Patients Right to Know” Amendment.
Transparency of public information is paramount in the Sunshine State of Florida, yet the healthcare industry continues to fight against that proverbial “sunshine”. Most recently, in Edwards v. Thomas, the Florida Supreme Court again rejected tricks by the hospitals to hide these records from view.
At DCW, we continue to fight for the rights of our clients and Florida’s citizens to know about the healthcare provided to them in this state, as well as to make informed decisions about which healthcare providers are best for them.
We know that acts of medical malpractice can have tragic results that devastate families. We see cases of failure of diagnosing, errors of omission, errors of commission, birth injuries, and anesthesia errors far too often. Errors can also occur in emergency rooms or surgical centers or because of misdiagnosis or inadequate testing.
Domnick Cunningham & Whalen has extensive experience litigating cases of medical malpractice, and we have advocated for the “Patients Right to Know” Amendment because we believe in fighting for the best interest of patients. If you have questions about a medical malpractice case or about patients’ rights, please contact our medical malpractice attorneys today.