New Legislation Raises Issue of “Specialty Courts”

A bill has been introduced in Congress to fund pilot projects in several states to test the idea of special “health courts.”

An article on the bill says that “[t]he bill would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to award up to 10 demonstration grants to states for the development, implementation and evaluation of alternatives to current tort litigation for resolving disputes over medical errors. Within that context, the bill specifically authorizes the creation of a special health care court. The hallmark of such a court would be full-time judges with health care expertise, whose sole focus would be on addressing medical malpractice cases.”

Here is a copy of the bill.

Any state participating in the program would have to give the judge who sits on the special court the power to make all decisions concerning negligence, causation, and damages.

I wonder if anyone who drafted, sponsored, or supports this bill ever gave any thought to the Seventh Amendment or its counter-part in the constitutions of the 50 states?

Nah. Decisions concerning the responsibility of health care providers are too important to be left to patients.