Patient Safety

Fairness Act Map

These families’ stories of harm in the health care system inspire Consumer Watchdog’s work to improve patient safety, help injured patients get justice and hold those who commit medical malpractice accountable.Meet the families fighting for injured patients

HOW MALPRACTICE CAPS TAKE AWAY PATIENT RIGHTS

In 1975, California politicians capped compensation for patients injured by medical negligence at $250,000.  Forty-five years after it was enacted, the cap has never been adjusted for inflation. It is worth less than $50,000 today. The cap prevents many patients from ever getting justice, and deepens the racial inequalities in the health care system, disproportionately harming low income patients, communities of color, women and children. More about caps

FAIRNESS FOR INJURED PATIENTS ON THE BALLOT

The families of children permanently harmed by medical negligence have qualified the Fairness for Injured Patients Act (FIPA) initiative for the November 2022 California ballot. Learn more and sign up to support the measure to update the cap and restore patients’ access to justice. 

HOLDING MEDICAL PROVIDERS ACCOUNTABLE

The Medical Board of California is responsible for regulating doctors in the state of California. Their mandate is patient protection. Yet, for four decades, the Board has failed to protect patients, allowing negligent doctors who repeatedly harm or even kill their patients to continue practicing with impunity. Learn more about Consumer Watchdog’s fights in the legislature and at the Medical Board to hold doctors accountable and make patients safe.

PATIENT RIGHT TO KNOW 

California became the first state in the nation to require doctors to disclose before a patient’s appointment if they are on probation for sexual assault or other serious misconduct. The law was blocked by the medical lobby until the MeToo movement helped ensure the voices of survivors of physician sexual assault were heard. Read about the victory for patient safety

OPIOID OVERPRESCRIBING

A seven-year battle by a father who lost his young children to reckless overprescribing culminated in a mandate for California doctors to review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other dangerous narcotics. 

Read about the win

Meet the Pack family

Patient Safety Articles

Tue, 11/09/2021 - 09:11

Los Angeles, CA -- A coalition of patients and families harmed by medical negligence launched a new website today – 

Tue, 11/02/2021 - 11:10

Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog is debuting a digital ofrenda (altar) celebrating the lives of Californians who died due to medical negligence today and tomorrow in recognition of Dia de los Muertos.  Advocate families that span across California recorded videos sharing a glimpse int

Tue, 10/19/2021 - 13:14

Once again, the medical lobby’s stranglehold on the legislature ensured that bad doctors will not be held accountable by the Medical Board of California.

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 13:38

Sacramento, CA – Today’s CBS This Morning special investigation makes a damning case for reform of physician oversight and legal accountability in California.  The segment documents how the influence of the doctors’ lobby on lawmakers and on the Medical Board of California allows bad doc

Thu, 07/01/2021 - 11:16

Los Angeles, CA – The must-see documentary “Never Events,” that follows the journey of multiple families who fought for change after suffering lifelong harm or loss due to medical negligence, debuts this week on Amazon, Apple TV and other streaming services.

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 09:36

Sacramento, CA – California lawmakers have moved legislation to the Senate Floor to make California the first state in the nation whose Medical Board has a majority of public, not doctor, members.

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 09:32

Los Angeles, CA – California is worse than two-thirds of states in the country when it comes to disciplining doctors whose negligence or incompetence causes patients serious harm, according to a new report by the nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen.  The report comes

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 09:57

Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog and a dozen Fairness for Injured Patients campaign advocates who were harmed by medical negligence and failed by the Medical Board of California will call on the legislature to turn control of the doctor-run Board over to the public, in testimony on Fri

Tue, 02/09/2021 - 09:05

Manteca, CA -- A coalition of Central Valley racial justice groups announced their endorsement of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act, the 2022 ballot initiative to update California’s discriminatory cap on compensation for patients harmed by medical negligence. 
 

Wed, 02/03/2021 - 10:06

Sacramento, CA – Two former leaders of the California Medical Association should be rejected as nominees to the Medical Board of California for their records opposing common sense patient safety reforms, Consumer Watchdog will testify at their confirmation hearing today.

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 11:11

Sacramento, CA – Consumer Watchdog renewed its call for Governor Gavin Newsom to withdraw the nomination of Dr. Richard Thorp, former president of the doctors’ lobby, to the Medical Board of California.

Tue, 12/01/2020 - 11:01

Los Angeles, CA -- An HIV positive man filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court to coincide with World AIDS Day against a surgeon and medical group for refusing to treat him because of his HIV status.   

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 10:10

Manteca, CA – The family of Shawn Washington, a 29-year-old Black man killed by medical negligence at Kaiser Manteca Medical Center, called on the Medical Board of California and the California Department of Public Health to hold his medical providers, and the hospital where he died, acc

Thu, 09/17/2020 - 09:40

Los Angeles, CA - As California courts and voters confront the injustice of the state’s 45-year-old limits on the rights of medical negligence victims, Consumer Watchdog celebrates World Patient Safety Day on Sept.