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Hospitals protest amendment giving patients the “Right to Know” about past medical malpractice and mistakes

A State Supreme Court was recently asked by hospital lawyers to postpone the implementation of a state constitutional amendment called “the Patients’ Right to Know Amendment”. The amendment allows patients to inquire about doctors’ and hospitals’ medical malpractice history. The delay was brought on by a disagreement in the appellate courts on whether the amendment should apply to past records or those created since the voters approved the measure in 2004. If it only covers new records, the amendment will only reach its intended purpose in many years. Some justices argue, however, that the confidentiality rights of doctors and hospitals during peer reviews should prevent the amendment from being applied retroactively. Others contend that confidentiality rights are not absolute and can be lifted by new laws. The Supreme Court will vote at a later date. In 2004, Florida voters also passed an amendment barring doctors with three medical malpractice judgments from practicing.

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