The Assembly Rules Committee voted this afternoon to place Assembly Bill 139 on the Assembly calendar for debate and vote Wednesday, May 8. That means now is the time for physicians to ask their State Assembly Representative to support the bill, which provides vital clarification of the state’s physician informed consent law following last year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Jandre v. Wisconsin Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund.
The bill has two important elements. First, it states clearly that a physician need not provide a patient with information about alternate modes of treatment for conditions the physician already has ruled out. This clarification gets to the heart of the confusion in the three disparate opinions of the Jandre decision, which the Society and others believe could lead to increased defensive medicine and patient confusion.
Second, the bill establishes a “reasonable physician” standard for what information should be provided to the patient. The current “reasonable patient” standard is in danger of becoming a meaningless “hindsight 20/20” standard, where a physician’s missed diagnosis could lead to instant liability, whether or not the physician was negligent in the mistaken diagnosis.
Now is the perfect time for physicians to ask their State Assembly Representatives to support AB 139 as it was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Click here to verify contact information for Assembly Representatives. As always, physicians may refer their elected officials to the Society’s Government Relations staff if any questions arise. Legislators must hear from their physician constituents in the next week.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government Relations Department with any questions.
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