On Wednesday February 19, 2014 the Kentucky State Senate passed a bill approving Kentucky medical malpractice review panels. The bill, which was debated for more than an hour, was eventually voted on with 23 Republicans voting in favor of the bill and 13 Democrats voting against the bill.
What the Bill Says
The bill would require that people who want to sue for medical malpractice in Kentucky first bring their claims to a three person review board made up of medical experts. It would be the responsibility of that review board to determine whether the standard of care was met, or violated, in the specific case before it.
The Arguments for and Against Kentucky Medical Malpractice Review Panels
Kentucky Senate Republicans, who generally voted in favor of this bill, allegedly argue that the review panel would speed up the justice process for those who have been injured by medical malpractice and that it would eliminate meritless claims. Kentucky Senate Democrats, who generally voted against this bill, reportedly argue that the review panel process would restrict access to the courts for many victims of medical malpractice.
The Road Ahead
The bill will not become law simply because it has passed the Senate. It must also pass the House of Representatives and then be signed by the governor or be successful on a veto override.
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