I learned the hard way about an almost unbelievable fact. The third leading cause of death, right behind heart disease and cancer, is medical mistakes. Doctors making mistakes, often due to negligence, kill about a thousand Americans every day. That’s like two fully loaded 747s crashing every day.
But you know what? It’s in our power to do something about it. Just over ten years ago a woman high on vodka and prescription painkillers ran over and killed my two young children, Troy and Alana. It turns out that woman was a doctor-shopping drug addict. She wasn’t in any physical pain, but still she went from doctor to doctor to doctor and got them all to prescribe thousands of narcotic-like painkillers. The Kaiser Permanente doctors responsible were never held accountable for their negligence. I felt like my wife and I were victimized twice.
What we’re doing now is sponsoring a new ballot measure which would save lives and hold doctors accountable. It’s called The Troy and Alana Patient Safety Act. First it would require doctors to submit to random drug and alcohol tests just like pilots, police, and bus drivers do. Doctors have incredible power. They hold our lives in their hands, but just like the rest of us, some of them have substance abuse problems. I don’t anyone with a hangover operating on me. Let’s testing doctors just like we do pilots and police.
The second thing the Patient Safety Act would do is crack down on prescription drug abuse. We want to put a stop to doctor-shopping for painkillers by making it illegal for doctors to prescribe any addictive drug without first checking a statewide database. That database would tell doctors immediately if a patient is getting the same prescription from another doctor. I know this electronic database works because I helped create it.
The third thing the Patient Safety Act would do is hold doctors accountable for negligence by adjusting the cap on medical negligence damages. The current cap – $250,000 – was set more than 38 years ago and it’s never been adjusted for inflation. That’s just not right. The price of everything has gone up, way up, quadrupled in the past 38 years, except the value of our children’s lives. Please help us save lives. It’s easy; just sign the petition for The Troy and Alan Pack Safety Act. Thank you.