I appreciated Travis Fain's balanced article on medical malpractice in N.C. ("Negligence, cap on damages, focus of malpractice reform bill," March 23). It is a fair and balanced article compared to what I have seen in the News & Observer.
If the legislature wants to cap awards, then so be it, but I think the cap should have a medical cost of living built in so that 25 years down the road the award is not a slap on the wrist to doctors and hospitals.
Also, the proposed arbitration should hold doctors and hospitals accountable for criminally negligent wrongdoings, and make the results publicly available.
D.W. (Wes) Dukes
I was quoted in a recent article regarding Senate Bill 33 ("Negligence, cap on damages, focus of malpractice reform bill," March 23) and a specific incident of placental abruption was mentioned.
I would like for your readers to understand that this particular case involved a woman who was 37 weeks pregnant and was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that caused her injury. The luck cited was that I was able to operate within minutes, and there was a highly skilled pediatrician available to resuscitate her infant. Even though that was my first introduction to her, I still see her as a patient and her son is graduating from high school this year.
The constant specter of a malpractice claim is the main reason it is becoming increasingly difficult for hospitals to find specialists willing to care for emergency cases.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
Mary Lane, M.D.