Tuesday, December 05, 2006


As predicted, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association has their case to challenge the Tort Reform law enacted last year.

So what? Who cares?

We all should.

If the ITLA is successful in getting this law declared unconstitutional, then medical malpractice rates will soar again (last year, ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company's malpractice rates went DOWN for most physicians.) If this happens, doctors will once again start leaving the state to find a place where they can practice without giving all their earnings away to insurance companies (and trial lawyers.)

Caps on non-economic damages work to keep the big bankroll awards from increasing malpractice insurance costs. In other words, it discourages people from suing just so they can see how much money they can make, rather than only recovering the loss from the injury in question. (Non-economic damages = "pain and suffering"-type of money awarded in a malpractice case. This is the amount that is usually run up by the trial attorneys to increase the fee they collect, usually 30% or more of the total.)

For more info check out these links:

Announcement by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA).

Response by the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS).

Friday, September 22, 2006


No, tort reform hasn't been challenged. At least not yet.

I am coming out of hibernation to make one small request of my readers.

When making your choice this November for Illinois Governor, remember which party has been supporting tort reform in Illinois, and remember which party had to have it's arm twisted in order to get tort reform passed.

I'm not sure whether I'm more liberal or more conservative, but what I do know is that I would like to see the peopleof Illinois have access to healthcare. I would like all of you to remember this when you go to the polls.

And, PLEASE VOTE!!!! If you haven't registered yet, please do so.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Keep Vigilant

With our Med Mal Law in place, the wait is on now for a challenge from the trial lawyers in the Illinois Supreme Court. No word about any cases currently going in this direction, but the word is from the ISMS that the ITLA is looking for such a case.

Until such time, this site will go into hibernation. For all of you out there, be on the look-out for an ITLA challenge, and be very conscious of WHO smiles when the challenge is made.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Physician Assisted Suicide--The First Step On The Slippery Slope

Hello again, everyone.

With SB 475 signed, and the ensuing [no pun intended] lawsuit to challenge it most-likely in the works by the ITLA, I thought I would lay low for a while. I've been keeping up on the subject of tort reform via the "Keep Doctors In Illinois" website for the most part.

Today, however, I saw a story on Reuters (see story) that has rekindled my desire to jump on my soapbox. It has to do with the US Supreme Court hearing arguments on physician-assisted suicide.

Physician-assisted suicide was legalized by the state of Oregon in 1994, and since then hundreds have chosen to end their lives in this way. The argument made at the time was that many people with terminal illnesses didn't want to suffer or experience great pain, and that this was a "more-pleasant" way to go. Others have said it was "a way they could control their own destiny." (I paraphrase what I remember; sorry I don't have any original articles to back this up. If anyone remembers anything new/different, please post and let me know.)

Since the law was passed, there has been a new directive in medicine to control pain. Hospice programs have been utilized more efficiently, and the "too much pain" defense therefore has no weight when people argue for PAS. The control issue is more of a psychological argument, one which I really don't quite understand.

What I mean is this: we all are going to die. No one can control when, or how, or why. We have ways to reduce our risks, but regardless, we are all going to die. So, if pain can be controlled, and we've done all we can do to maintain health all our lives (if we indeed have done this) then why the need to "take control of when?"
I don't know about you, but this a weak argument for PAS.

The danger here is that if we as a nation accept PAS as "okay," then what's next? Allowing those with chronic depression to end their life if they want? Allowing the euthanizing of old people in nursing homes because they "don't have any quality of life?" Or euthanizing the mentally handicapped because they are like-wise afflicted? Or maybe euthanizing the developmentally disabled, those who have had strokes, alzheimer's patients, or anyone else who is "not contributing to society?"

Sound familiar? It should. If anyone has ever seen a documentary on Nazi Germany and the Third Reich, they would instantly recognize how Hitler implemented his "final solution" on these groups, as well as whole races whom he felt were inferior. It all started with the terminally ill, aged, and mentally handicapped.

A person choosing to end their life earlier than what is natural when they are not emminently dying is murder, in my opinion. When the state sanctifies this act as legal or a "right," then we are taking that first step down the slipper slope towards the evils of our world's past.

Who said, "If we do not learn from our mistakes in the past, we are doomed to repeat them?"

Please comment. I would be interested to see what Decatur Illinois thinks of this issue.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


According to the ISMS, Governor Blago will sign SB 475 this coming Thursday. From the ISMS:

Governor Blagojevich will sign SB 475, the ISMS supported medical litigation reform legislation, into law at 11:00 am on Thursday, August 25, 2005. The signing will take place at St. Anthony's Hospital in Alton. ISMS President, Craig Backs, M.D. and ISMS Board Chair, Richard Geline, M.D. will attend the event on behalf on ISMS.

The Society and ISMIE Mutual will issue a joint press release that will be available at www.isms.org and the Weekly Rounds will provide a full report on Friday.

Wait for the circus on TV Thursday!

Friday, August 19, 2005


My understanding of the law-making system in the state of Illinois is somewhat lax, evidently.

Originally, I thought that the governor had 60 days *after the passage of the bill* to sign it. The truth is the governor has 60 days *after it is delivered to the governor's office* to sign the bill.

Hence, Sir Rodney has until 8/29/05 to sign SB 475 and make it law.

I would look for a large ceremony somewhere around Madison/St. Claire counties sometime in the next 10 days or so. The next question is how long it will take before the ITLA challenges this in court? Do they risk embarrassing Rod before the 2006 election? Or do they even care now that he has backed this bill (just to look good prior to the 2006 election.)

Tick tock, tick tock.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Less Than A Week...

After Sen. Jones delivery of the tort reform bill to Uncle Rod, Uncle Rod has a total of 60 days from the passage of the bill to sign it, or veto it. If he doesn't sign it, it becomes law automatically.

So...since the bill passed on Memorial Day (5/30/05), Uncle Rod has until Saturday to sign Illinois newest venture at Tort Reform. Shine your shoes, Uncle Rod, you want to look good on TV for this one.

And then, eventually, our courts will get their crack at it. (the law, not the shoes)

The ITLA hasn't stopped their ads in the Chicago papers. Perhaps now they are out to sway the judges instead of the public?