At a news conference at the Collinsville Holiday Inn on Tuesday, the
survivors protested the president's
legislation that would severely reduce the rights of medical
malpractice victims nationwide, as well as victims of dangerous
FDA-approved drugs. The bill includes a $250,000 cap on noneconomic
damages. It would limit the liability not only of malpracticing
doctors, but also hospitals, HMOs, nursing homes and manufacturers
of drugs and medical devices.
The text of the letter follows:
January 3, 2005
President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Via fax: (202) 456-2461
Dear President Bush:
We, or our family members, have been
injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice in the State of
We respectfully request a meeting with
you on January 5, 2005, either before or after you meet with members
of the Illinois State Medical Society in Collinsville, Illinois.
You have called medical malpractice
lawsuits "frivolous" and you blame patients who sue for doctors'
skyrocketing insurance rates -- even though the blame rests squarely
on the insurance industry, not us.
Our cases are not frivolous. You need
to hear our stories, and to understand the unacceptable degree of
medical malpractice that goes on in this country and our proposals
to solve this problem.
It is unacceptable for you to meet
with doctors, or with representatives from hospitals, drug
companies, HMOs, and the insurance industry -- indeed with all the
corporate interests who would benefit from your cruel medical
malpractice legislation -- while failing to meet with the very
people who will be hurt most.
The Los Angeles Times recently
reported, "[S]pecial interests spent $1.1 billion during the first
half of 2004 on lobbyists and advertising campaigns" and "topping
the list of spenders were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the
American Medical Assn., which spent a combined $39 million during
the six-month period to appeal for medical liability limits."
We cannot compete with these kinds of
financial contributions from special interest lobby groups. But we
are citizens who have lost a tremendous amount and you need to
listen to our stories as well.
Please contact Amber Hard at the
Center for Justice & Democracy -- Illinois, to set up this meeting.
You can reach her at (847) 400-7696.
[to top of second column]
We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
St. Elmo, Ill.
Jeanne A. Bouillon
David & Gail James
Mount Olive, Ill.
Christopher & Rosemary Lay
Bunker Hill, Ill.
West Salem, Ill.
Sharon V. Smith