State legislators in Maryland are proposing a “no fault” birth injury fund that would compensate the victims and their families for doctors’ mistakes in the birthing process. According to one media source, “The hospitals would pay $25 million a year into the fund, based on actuary’s estimate that only about seven babies a year would qualify. . . The fund would create an administrative hearing process as an alternative to tort lawsuits. Lawyers would still be involved, but they would be paid at a prevailing rate out of the injury fund.” There are some obvious problems with such proposals. First, such legislative overreach circumvents the judiciary’s role as a legitimate branch of government. Second, citizens have a right to seek justice within the judicial system and a trial if necessary. Third, the discovery process that is integral to any medical malpractice lawsuit often leads to medical reforms because mistakes are discovered and hopefully corrected. Our founding fathers provided us with three branches of government-executive, legislative, and judicial in order to protect the interests of the citizenry as well as guard against any one branch of government wielding too much power.
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