A monumental battle over patient safety in California will be decided on Election Day in the form of Proposition 46 – the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act. The namesakes of this initiative are two young children who died at the hands of an intoxicated motorist high on prescription medication. The motorist had literally been prescribed thousands of Vicodin from six different doctors all in the same Kaiser system.
Proposition 46 will work to end the notorious problem of “doctor shopping” for narcotics and other patient safety concerns.
Proposition 46 will mandate use of the state’s existing prescription drug database. Right now only 6 percent of doctors bother to use this system to ensure their patients are not getting narcotics from other doctors, although the database was created for this precise purpose.
Proposition 46 will also require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors. Nearly one in five doctors suffers substance abuse problems in their career. Moreover, preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer – 440,000 victims a year! This is the same testing already in place for airline pilots, policeman and bus drivers
Proposition 46 will also raise the state’s medical malpractice limits on “pain and suffering” damages from $250,000 to $1,100,000. This would simply increase the existing limit by the cost of inflation from when it was introduced 38 years ago. Raising the limits would hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their medical negligence where, now, most of these cases cannot be afford to by prosecuted by attorneys because they are so expensive.
There are two very wealthy groups that oppose this proposition: doctors and insurance companies.
Together this two groups have already raised a staggering $35 million dollars to oppose Proposition 46. Sadly and tellingly, their opposition focuses almost solely on the financial “cost” of implementing these changes.
The opponents of Prop. 46 never mention the cost to society of the needless loss of our loved ones due to doctors not being held accountable for preventable medical deaths due to doctors who are inebriated or high, or motorists high on prescription drugs that should never should have been given to them.
At Minami Tamaki, our bottom line is to make our communities and state safer for all of us. Based on this belief, we stand and fight for Proposition 46 and ask you to do the same. You can do this by contributing time or money, or simply by voting for Proposition 46 and encouraging others to do so.
Our justice system failed Troy and Alana Pack. Let us not let it fail any more of us or our children. YES ON 46!