Senator Bert Johnson Issues Statement on Senate Bill 1116
Legislation gives broad immunity to doctors suspected of malpractice
LANSING – Following the introduction of Senate Bill 1116, Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) released the following statement:
“I am appalled at the contents of Senate Bill 1116 which essentially grants across-the-board immunity to bad actors in our health care system.
“The troubling language in the bill says that a doctor is ˜not liable in an action alleging medical malpractice if the person's conduct at issue constituted the exercise of professional judgment¦. A person exercises professional judgment if the person acts with a reasonable and good-faith belief that the person's conduct is both well founded in medicine and in the best interests of the patient.'
“In the wake of the extremely troubling case of Dr. Yasser Awaad and his ˜epilepsy mill' in which he got very wealthy by falsely diagnosing hundreds of children with epilepsy, SB 1116 would essentially provide him and others like him with a license to abuse patients. Evidence shows that this type of reform has failed time and again to address the patient safety issues that exist today, much as they existed in the 1980s when the first round of tort reforms began.
“Over the past several decades, at least eleven major tort reform initiatives have been implemented. Taxpayers have been robbed by Dr. Awaad, who was the Chief of Pediatric Neurology at Oakwood Hospital. More importantly, hundreds of children's lives have been affected, some irreparably damaged, by his deranged method of getting rich. Senate Bill 1116 must not be passed by the Michigan Legislature and I urge all concerned citizens, activists and professionals to push back against this senseless legislation.”