Virgina's Supreme Court is considering whether doctors are immune from medical malpractice suits that stem from charity care they provided at Virginia's three teaching hospitals. The Court is being asked to rule on two cases--one in which a child was permanently injured and another in which a child died as a result of malpractice. Lawyers for the victims maintain that doctors shouldn't be exempt from malpractice suits. "The public should be offended that well-paid physicians treating mainly paying and insured patients are claiming entitlement to charitable immunity because they make a nominal contribution to the poor," noted one family's lawyer. But doctors and charitable hospitals maintain that without immunity, they'll have a difficult time absorbing the cost of caring for poor patients. Lower courts deciding on the cases have handed back opposite rulings on the cases.
For more on the issue:
- check out this article from the Times Dispatch