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Of Respect, Trust and Justice (Continued from page 6)

daily feel the pain and anguish of being a victim and we all cry and ache for justice. During that first legislative session, CPR was a loosely knit group of victims. We had no organization in the formal sense. But we showed up at every hearing and we felt no shame at looking at the legislators and telling them the truth, the real truth, and every word came from our hearts. By the 2006 legislative session, CPR was more of a real organization. We were able to hire, at very modest salary, both an executive director who is the only paid employee, and a registered grass-roots lob- byist. And we launched a web site. During the 2006 legislative session, CPR lobbied against the ongoing and persistent attempts to shut the courthouse doors to victims. We organized witnesses, who again painfully and courageously confronted the legislators with story after story of the reality of medical negligence and how few victims ever get justice or compensation for their injuries. And we made certain that the legislators and the

media knew that our advocates are heroes, not villains. Between the 2005 and 2006 legislative sessions, CPR, in conjunction with oth- ers, drafted its own legislation to mandate an evidence-based infection control guide- line that, if passed and complied with, would have fundamentally improved pa- tient safety throughout the state and saved countless patients from injury and death, while economically benefiting the entire healthcare system. CPR coordinated and arranged for nu-

merous world renowned experts in the fields of epidemiology, infectious disease and healthcare economics to travel from around the world to personally testify on behalf of the legislation. We repeatedly went to Annapolis and met with lawmak- ers in order to get the badly needed legislation passed. The legislation, Senate Bill 535

(Hollinger and Gladden) and House Bill 966 (Hubbard), was defeated by strong opposition from the Maryland Hospital Association. CPR will introduce the same infection control legislation next year and thereaf- ter if needed, until we succeed in doing

what should have been done long ago to protect patients. And we will continue to fight for other badly needed patient safety mandates.

CPR will continue the fight against the

“tort reform” movement and will, in fact, fight for broader access to the courts for the 9 out of 10 victims who are currently closed out of the system. Through the CPR web site, we will provide the public with the names of legislators who are fighting for or against patients and vic- tims rights. And we will continue to work with the media in order to insure that the truth about these vital issues is told.

CPR will serve the needs of a public that has for too long lacked a real grass-roots organization to fight for patients’ rights and safety. The Coalition For Patients’ Rights is proud to stand side by side with other consumer advocates in the ongoing fight to preserve civil rights and justice for victims of medical negligence.

The website for the Coalition for

Patients’ Rights www.coalitionfor-


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Trial Reporter Spring 2006

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