We face an epidemic of preventable deaths related to medical errors in our country. A Johns Hopkins study showed medical errors are the third leading cause of death, only behind heart disease and cancer, costing over 250,000 Americans their lives each year. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated one in four patients experience harm in a hospital. In Texas, the effect of so-called tort "reform" has been devastating for patients who face high hurdles to justice if they are victims of medical malpractice.
We must do more to protect patients in our state. The Texas Legislature is evaluating a number of important bills this session in this area.
GIVE PATIENTS A VOICE
Patients need to understand the risks and complications associated with a medical procedure so they can make an informed decision. The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel, which develops disclosure language, is supposed to help patients; however, this panel currently only consists of doctors and lawyers. HB 148 by Rep. Julie Johnson requires the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel to actually include members from the public. We need members of the public and other advocates on the panel who will push for patients, giving them a voice and ensuring that the language doctors use to talk to patients about complicated and potentially life-threatening procedures is plain and easy-to-understand. This common-sense reform will help the Texas Medical Disclosure Panel do its job by making disclosures understandable for patients. Please tell your lawmakers to support HB 148 by Rep. Julie Johnson today!
PROTECT OUR SENIORS
Our seniors are vulnerable to abuse and they need our help. Criminal background checks must be required for those who come into contact with our seniors. HB 1100 by Rep. Julie Johnson requires criminal background checks for employees and service providers at senior living facilities. It also prohibits forced arbitration clauses for residents of these facilities, protecting their rights and their family members in the event of a tragedy. Compared to our courts, which are open and transparent, arbitration takes place in private, often hiding corporate wrongdoing in the dark. Our senior citizens deserve better, and we must protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Raise your voice and support HB 1100 by Rep. Julie Johnson today!