Home Opinion Pro: Proposition 46

Pro: Proposition 46

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The passing of Proposition 46 would enforce stricter regulations in the medical field and enhance our safety.

Its main highlights are to require drug and alcohol testing of doctors, to adjust the state’s cap on medical negligence lawsuits to current inflation, and to require health care practitioners to check the state prescription drug history database before prescribing commonly abused medications.

A study by James John, a toxicologist at NASA’s space center in Houston who also runs an advocacy organization called Patient Safety America, found that an average minimum of 210,000 deaths per year are linked to medical errors.  A majority of these medical errors can be prevented through drug testing and overseeing the distribution of commonly abused prescription drugs.

In 2003, conservative estimates are that 8 percent to 12 percent of physicians will or have developed substance abuse problems. By federal law, workers in safety-sensitive areas such as transportation are already subjects to random drug tests. The people who are in charge of saving people’s lives should be as well.

Currently the victims of malpractice are not being appropriately compensated. The current $250,000 cap for non economic pain and suffering damages was set by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act in 1975.

According to Reid Wilson in the Washington Post, if MICRA adjusted the cap to inflation, the cap would be set over $1 million dollars today.

Just in 2006, 2.6 million people abused prescription drugs for the first time in the United States. As of now, some patients are able to abuse narcotics by obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors.

By creating a drug history database with patients prescription information, physicians can now access the database before prescribing these controlled substances, to guarantee patients haven’t received them from another doctor.  Through this method, we can prevent a majority of abused prescription medication.

People go to their doctors to get well; saying yes to proposition 46 only keeps it that way.