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News and brief: Florida bill would make it tougher to claim malpractice against physician



A Florida legislator wants to reduce the number of lawsuits against physicians by enacting a law that would make it harder to prove medical malpractice.  In an interview with Insurance Journal, Rep. Matt Gaetz, (R-Fort Walton Beach), who is sponsoring the related House bill, says doing so would make Florida “a great place to practice medicine.”

Along with making it tougher to prove a physician committed medical malpractice, the bill also seeks to allow the physician’s attorney to interview other physicians involved in the patient’s care without the patient or patient’s attorney being present.

Opponents of the bill say the standard of proof of malpractice is too tough. Maria Tejedor, a personal injury attorney, used the example of a physician failing to recommend a mammogram for a female patient who ultimately develops breast cancer. She says if the bill was passed, “that woman would need to virtually prove that doctor intended to give her terminal cancer.”

Gaetz argues that physicians will still be held responsible for wrongdoing, but won’t have to worry about things such as ordering unnecessary tests for patients.

Last week, a third committee in the House approved the bill; a similar bill is also moving through the Senate.

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