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Illinois Medical Lobby Prevents Attempts to Bar Dangerous Doctors

Attempts to improve the medical system in Illinois often run into a large roadblock in the form of the Illinois State Medical Society. Unfortunately the group often works to protect bad doctors without concern for the needs of the patients who unknowingly seek their care.

For example, one state Senator attempted to introduce legislation last spring that would automatically suspend the license of a doctor charged with a sexual or violent crime against a patient. The bill was spurred by the case of a pediatrician who was allowed to continue seeing young patients after being charged with sexually assaulting a 13 year old patient.

However, the state’s medical lobby began chipping away at the bill almost immediately. The legislator was forced to cut back on the bill, weakening its provisions, in an effort to get the political coalition together to pass the measure. He explained, “The doctors have a very strong lobby in Springfield, and they certainly were making it very difficult to pass a piece of legislation that addressed a statute that had this big, large gaping loophole.”

Much of the wheeling and dealing involved in crafting legislation takes place behind closed doors-and that is exactly where the medical lobby wields its influence. The group targets lawmakers in leadership positions and crucial committee assignments to alter their vote. Over a dozen lobbyists and $6 million in campaign donations have been used in the last decade alone to thwart medical reform bills that the medical lobby disapproves.

The group has worked to block changes to doctor licensing, open reporting of medical errors, and a variety of other reform measures.

The number of patients abused, injured, and killed by fraudulent, criminal, and negligent doctor behavior continues unabated in Illinois. Our Chicago malpractice lawyers work each day with the victims of this conduct. We understand the need to make a variety of changes to the medical system to help limit the suffering following these actions. No matter what the efforts of the powerful medical lobby, our malpractice attorneys will continue to fight for victim rights.

Click Here to read more about the Tribune analysis of the situation.

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