TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR PATIENT ACCESS
Texas doctor can't be sued in New Mexico, court rules
A former Texas Tech University surgeon accused of botching a Curry County woman’s gastric bypass surgery in 2004 can’t be sued for malpractice in New Mexico, the state Supreme Court has ruled. The state’s high court issued its decision Monday. “We reverse the Court of Appeals and the district court,” Justice Edward L. Chávez wrote in his majority opinion, which was signed onto by Justices Petra Jimenez Maes and Judith K. Nakamura and Judge Linda M. Vanzi, a Court of Appeals judge designated to hear the case. “The district court shall dismiss Montaño’s suit without prejudice.”
The case has garnered significant attention in both New Mexico and Texas, with three dozen doctor groups and hospitals in both states signing on to a friend of the court brief in 2015. They argued that allowing the lawsuit to move forward could have a disastrous effect on patient care in eastern New Mexico – where doctors are scarce – because it might make Texas providers reluctant to care for New Mexico patients.
November 24, 2015
November 7, 2015
One of the nation’s leading medical liability reform laws could be undercut in a case before a state supreme court.
Goodbye Standard of Care, Hello Reasonable Practice
The term “standard of care” has been misused and abused. It is time to replace it with a phrase which more accurately conveys the realities of modern medicine.
The legal definition of the “standard of care” is that which a reasonably competent and skilled physician would administer under the same or similar circumstances. Failing to meet the standard of care, one might argue, is simply another way of stating that a physician was negligent. However, it seems that many people don’t understand the nuance.
Rape is not Health Care
The stunning headline might have caught your eye; it certainly caught mine. A big piece of it, though, is flat out wrong. “Doctor accused in rape unlikely to be held liable in civil court,” the Houston Chronicle headline read. “The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that rape in some circumstances is covered by medical malpractice laws,” the author wrote further down in the story. Wrong. Texas Alliance for Patient Access Chair Howard Marcus, MD, set her straight. Here’s his statement in full: “Rape is reprehensible". Neither the legislature not the courts gave medical liability protections to this criminal offense. Most recently, in Ross v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, the Texas Supreme Court set forth a seven-factor test to determine whether an injury was or wasn’t a health care claim. The Ross decision makes clear that rape is not related to the provision of health care, and is not a protected act simply because it occurred in a health care setting. The court has left no room for confusion.”
Historic Senate Vote Provides Medical Liability Protections
12-Years Post-Liability Reform, Texas Hits another Record in New Physicians
Academics say raising the cap would more likely increase health care costs than increase patient safety or quality of care.
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