Father To Medical Association: Apologize, Our Children’s Death Is Not A “Publicity Stunt”

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Danville, CA — The father of a seven and ten year old killed by a drug addicted driver who received thousands of pills she should never have had called on the California Medical Association to apologize for calling the effort by families injured by medical negligence to tell their stories and seek stronger patient safety laws “an ill-fated publicity stunt.”
Bob Pack, president of the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Foundation, and Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, wrote medical association president Paul Phinney seeking an apology and challenging him to a civil debate on patient safety issues under the State Capitol dome.
Read the letter at:
“These comments on the very real plight of families who have endured horrific tragedies, due to no fault of their own, suggest just how out of touch your association may be with the suffering of families who are unfortunate enough to be injured by medical negligence in California,” Pack and Court wrote. “The Hippocratic Oath of ‘do no harm’ is turned into a Hypocritical Oath if, when real harm is done, as has befallen the families involved in the effort, their suffering is written off as a ‘publicity stunt’ and swept under the rug.”
Court and Pack held a press conference in Sacramento earlier this month with families injured by medical negligence and announced they would pursue a ballot measure to reform the state’s outdated patient safety laws if the legislature did not act.  
The letter requests that Phinney, “Watch the stories of these families told in Sacramento on May 2nd at the links below and ask yourself whether categorizing their suffering as a “publicity stunt” is a befitting official position for the state’s medical association.”
Bob Pack –
Tim and Tammy Smick –
Robert Downey –
Robyn and Kimber Frankel –
Kathy and Steven Olsen –
The Wilkinson Family –
Ryan and Malyia Jeffers –
Eric Andrist –
The letter continues: “As we attempt to even the playing field, and update 37 years of outdated laws, your association – which represents some of the wealthiest and most fortunate Californians – must be careful to be respectful and civil in its treatment of those who have been most unfortunate in their encounters with the medical system.
“We call upon you to begin this very real debate with an apology.  Then we ask you to join us in a civil debate under the Capitol dome at the earliest date of mutual convenience. The time has come to discuss the issues of physician accountability and updating laws that devalue the suffering of those injured by medical negligence that have not been adjusted for 37 years.
“The unfair advantage that physicians have had in the legal and regulatory system does not grant you immunity from being civil and honest in the realm of public debate and in the court of public opinion.   Let’s start over and make California’s public policy process work for all Californians. We await your apology and response to our invitation.”
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Carmen Balber
Carmen Balber
Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber has been with the organization for nearly two decades. She spent four years directing the group’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for key health insurance market reforms that were ultimately enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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