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Heron Pointe resident supports Phillips; Medical liability too high, doctor says

Heron Pointe resident supports Phillips

I just wanted to drop a short line about Kyle H. Phillips, running for County Commissioner seat 5B. He has been Heronís Point Home Owners Association president for the past three years and has proven his dedi-cation/devotion to his family, neighbors, and community time and time again. Kyle is a good husband and now learning fatherhood. Kyle has a marketing degree and MBA, from UT and has put his education to work helping his family, HOA, and community. I am proud, and fortunate, to have Kyle as a friend and neighbor. I know the fifth District of Knox County, and Farragut, will feel the same way when Kyle Phillip is serving in the district 5B seat. I donít wish to use your column as a campaign blog however; I would like to get more voters involved in the Knox County Primary Elections.

Trace Thompson

Knox County

Medical liability too high, doctor says

Across Tennessee, increased medical liability insurance premiums are discouraging young doctors from pursuing high-risk specialties. At the same time, nearly half of all Tennessee physicians report they have stopped providing certain high-risk services due to fear of medical lawsuits. Thatís a poor diagnosis of health care in Tennessee unless the General Assembly acts on medical liability reform legislation.

We are in the midst [of] a medical lawsuit crisis in our state. It is hard to keep or attract doctors to a state where you have a 70 percent chance of being sued if you practice here 10 years or more. Currently, there are some 4,100 pending claims seeking damages of more than $6.2 million per case.

Opponents of medical liability reform pontificate that patients who have a legitimate claim will be denied a chance to recoup damages. The bills pending before the legislature actually increase access to courts by removing frivolous cases and allow for recovery of unlimited economic damages. This means that a person with a legitimate claim would face no limit in recovering actual costs such as medical expenses, lost wages, and any other measurable losses.

Some 30 other states have such limits on subjective awards, as does our state government itself. This bill suggests a limit of a quarter-of-a-million dollars to achieve some sense of predictability in award amounts. Without predictability, this justice jackpot will continue to rob our state of young physicians and those doctors no longer interested in practicing in high-risk specialty areas.

Our legislators need to act on medical liability this session. I doubt legislators would want to explain to a constituent why their child died in [an] accident because their part of the state did not have a brain surgeon or that the emergency department was closed because our state did not pass common-sense liability reforms. Medical liability reform will help protect access to medical care for all Tennesseans.

Phyllis Miller, M.D., president

Tennessee Medical Association


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