Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) June 25, 2012
Saying consumers should never have to worry about their doctors trying to put a gag on their right to free speech, Angie’s List today applauded the introduction of Senate Bill 1139 before the Michigan State Senate.
“No one should have to choose between their freedom of speech and their health care,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Senator Rebekah Warren and her colleagues are trying to end this unjust practice in Michigan, and I’d like to see other states follow their lead.”
For more than two years, Angie’s List has been alerting consumers to an effort by some physicians to get their patients to waive their rights to posting reviews of their experiences before they receive medical treatment. Sometimes these waivers are included in a sheaf of paperwork and Hicks fears some patients sign the forms without being fully aware that they are promising not to share their experience with others.
SB 1139 would prohibit Michigan doctors from requiring patients “as a prerequisite to providing medical treatment or service” to “sign a contract or otherwise agree either orally or in writing that the patient will not post negative commentary on any public media forum about the physician, the physician’s practice and expertise, the medical treatment provided to the patient by the physician, or any other commentary pertaining to the physician or his or her practice.”
“Freedom of speech is one of our most basic human rights,” Warren said. “Should a patient have an unfavorable experience while in the care of a physician, they should, at very least, be free to express their concern and advise fellow patients to be wary.”
Senator Warren is joined on the bill by co-sponsors Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood.
“We called SB 1139 ‘the Angie’s List bill’ after we learned of the company’s efforts to alert consumers to the practice,” Warren said. “We’re pleased to have their support, and we hope consumers will help rally support for passage.”
Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 550 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million subscribers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, helpful online articles about home improvement projects, and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.