Arguments for and against a birth injury fund in Maryland are heating up. The fund, modeled after those already in place in Florida and Virginia, is aimed at protecting families of babies who have been born with birth injuries. Monies from the fund would eliminate the need for families to participate in litigation against medical professionals and hospitals.
State legislatures across the country are keeping an eye on the debate. If the bill passes, Maryland will be the third state in the nation with such a fund. Although its purpose is to protect mothers and babies, the bill has malpractice attorneys and hospitals pitted against one another.
Those who support the bill say that its passage would help to ensure continued access to obstetrical care. It would also offer families an alternative to expensive and lengthy lawsuit battles. Those who are against the bill say that it effectively takes away a family’s constitutional right to have a trial by jury. It also allows hospitals and doctors avoid legal responsibility.