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Congresswoman bucks party on medical malpractice cap

She is just three years old, but she has already been cut off from many of life's simple pleasures. Because of the irreversible brain injury she sustained at birth, she will never be able to walk, run, stand up or skip a rope.

The cause of the birth injury was doctor negligence. He ignored tests that showed the baby was at high risk of jaundice. Instead of acting to protect her, he sent the baby and mom home. And if Congress has its way, damages for a disability that will last a lifetime will be capped at $250,000.

It is impossible to put a price tag on "a life-shattering injury," argues Congresswoman Martha McSally. The Arizona Republican recently explained in a column why she bucked her party to oppose a cap on non-economic damages.

She said it was a difficult vote. She said she supports the concept of requiring victims of health care provider negligence to supply "clear and convincing evidence" that medical malpractice occurred.

Of course, providing that evidence is the only way that victims convince judges and juries of malpractice.

Even though she is a devoted Republican representative, McNally writes that she "could not support a bill that sets a price on the trauma of a severe life-altering and dream-crushing harm to a fellow citizen."

She says there is simply no way for the federal government to set a $250,000 cap on the value of quality of life.

While the measure passed the House, it is still under consideration in the Senate.

Those who suffer injury at the hands of a negligent physician, nurse, hospital or other health care provider can contact a San Antonio attorney experienced in medical malpractice litigation.

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