Chicago Medical Negligence Lawyer Supports Passage of Illinois' 'Patients' Right to Know Act'

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David J. Pritchard of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. says physicians should have no fear of their professional histories being public record.

David J. Pritchard

People in need of medical help should be able to find out the history of those to whom they are entrusting their lives.

Cook County medical malpractice attorney David J. Pritchard today called for swift passage and adoption of the “Patients’ Right to Know Act” to put Illinois doctors’ histories of medical errors online.

“What kind of doctor is against this, other than one who has something to hide?” asked Pritchard, an equity partner in Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, an Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Lake and Cook counties. “This proposal is the proverbial ‘no-brainer,’ and the Illinois legislature should move to enact this law without delay.”

The Patients' Right to Know Act would give citizens access to detailed histories of Illinois doctors, including whether they had ever been fired or convicted of a crime or had made a payment for medical malpractice, negligence or errors within the past five years. It was passed by the Illinois House by a 62-54 vote early in January and remains under consideration by the Senate. The bill has been stopped in previous sessions, in part because of opposition by the Illinois State Medical Society.

The doctors’ lobby has argued that the database would drain state resources and has said the information is already available elsewhere on the Internet, according to the Chicago Tribune. However, the Tribune says, the online database would cost only $40,250 yearly to maintain and, although the information is available now, it is not available through a single source and is not easily gathered.

“The opposition to this is ludicrous,” said Pritchard, an attorney whose firm has recovered millions of dollars for Illinois clients in physician error and hospital negligence. “People in need of medical help should be able to find out the history of those to whom they are entrusting their lives. Technology makes it possible to this information to be easily accessible, and that’s exactly what it should be – easy for patients or any interested party to obtain.

“That the very doctors whom we are to trust with our lives would stand in the way of this bill through their lobby is offensive, to say the least,” said Pritchard, whose firm has offices in Chicago and Waukegan.

“Medical errors, negligence and outright malpractice continue to occur in Illinois at an alarming rate,” Pritchard continued. “The ultimate result of this act would be to expose those physicians who continue to practice despite past cases of negligence, malpractice or other problems. Physicians who don’t have such blemished records should be in favor of outing those among them who do.”

About Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C.

Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. is a leading Illinois medical malpractice law firm with offices in Chicago and Waukegan. The firm represents clients in matters involving emergency room errors, failure to diagnose, hospital negligence, physician error, birth injuries, surgical malpractice, anesthesia errors, organ puncture/perforation, post-operative and pre-operation malpractice and surgical complications. The firm’s success in medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases features recovering more than $585 million on behalf of its clients, including more than 160 multi-million dollar verdicts or settlements.

To learn more about Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., call (847) 249-1227 or use the firm’s online form.

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