#Law Reform
United States of America

In February 2007, our 71 year-old precious mother, Cynthia Lucas, went to Northshore Hospital, a Tenet Heathcare Facility to undergo a fairly routine carotid artery surgery.

My mom was allergic to Latex, a fact that was sloppily documented in her medical records, a very vital element in preparing for her care throughout the course of her stay in the hospital. Due to total negligence by hospital personnel, our mom suffered a severe anaphalatic shock caused from latex allergies. Her ICU nurse did not tend to her for approximately 2 hours, and subsequently she suffocated in the hospital and was brain dead two days after her surgery.

She was so swollen that her tongue protruded out of her mouth. Which, of course, the hospital tried valiantly to cover up and pretended that they did not know what happened. We reported the negligence of the Northshore Hospital to The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and Northshore hospital was found negligent on all counts of our allegations.

To add more insult to our injury and devastation, The Florida Wrongful Death Act, Sections 768.16-768.21 absolves all medical personnel and facilities from any wrong doing, whether it is negligence or malpractice if you are over the age of 25 and unmarried. In short, the law states that "if an elderly person who is unmarried and has no dependents under the age of 25, you cannot bring a wrongful death suit against the medical personnel or hospital. The same is true for an unmarried child. You, the parent, cannot bring a wrongful death suit against the facilities if your child is over the age of 25.

This discriminatory act, gives healthcare professionals in Florida a license to legally kill our loved ones. How many more will have to die before the healthcare professionals are held accountable for their wrongdoings and mistakes? This Florida Wrongful Death Act, gravely affects the elderly in Florida, because so many elderly persons retire in Florida, oftentimes a widow or a widower.

How many more will have to die before the residents of Florida take a stand and insist that these politicians that our votes put in office, be forced to be more proactive and ensure that the best is offered to their constituents, they need to have our best interest at heart? Afterall, had it not been for our votes, where would they be? Of course, many of them promise the the world before they are elected into office, and then just give you the a state after they are elected, basically, they have their own agenda and do not have our best interest at heart.

How many more will have to die, before residents of Florida become aware of this horible, horible law in the name of TORT REFORM? The realization that there can be a "Tort Reform" that encourages legal murder is beyond my scope of understanding. What is most amazing about The Florida Wrongful Death Act, is that the majority of the residents are totally unaware of this law until their loved one becomes a victim of medical negligence or malpractice.

How many more families will be devastated, as our family is before someone realize that they are not safe in Florida, if you are over the age of 25?

TORT REFORM? In every other wrong doing, the person commiting the wrongdoing is punished in some way or another. Their cases are presented to a grand jury to determine its merits, and indictments are then issued. Can someone tell me why that same procedure is not applicable to doctors and other hospital personnel? We need to take a bigger stand for ourselves, our health, and our families.

The lawmakers in Florida need to implement an oversight committee to review claims of medical malpractice, and depending on its merits, the case is given further attention. This law leaves the persons over 25, their parents and children of the elderly, and the elderly as well at such a disadvantage. It is time for us to pay attention to what our politicians promise and hold them accountable when they are in office. "TORT REFORM? HOW MANY MORE WILL HAVE TO DIE UNDER THE GUISE OF TORT REFORM?"

We, the undersigned, respectfully petition and call upon the Governor, The Congress Men and Congress Women, and other lawmakers in Florida to immediately amend The Florida Wrongful Death Act, Sections 768.16 - 768.21, or in the alternative, take it off the books entirely. When there is a clear case of negligence, the offender should not go without some kind of accountability.

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The FLORIDA WRONGFUL DEATH ACT - TORT REFORM petition to GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST AND CONGRESSMEN & WOMEN was written by Jean Burke Jackson and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.