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Florida Patient's Right to Know, Amendment 7 (2004)

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The Florida Patient's Right to Know Amendment, also known as Amendment 7, was an initiated constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2004 election ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

The amendment added Article X, Section 25 of the Florida Constitution to allow patients to request and review records of previous medical incidents at the medical facilities.[1]

Aftermath

The amendment was originally proposed as Article X, Section 22, but was renumbered so as to not conflict with another amendment.[2]

The Florida Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Amendment 7 in an early 2012 ruling on the case of West Florida Regional Medical Center, Inc., vs. See.[3]

According to Highlands Today, the court repeatedly upheld Amendment 7, such as when it overturned legislative measures to restrict Amendment 7 in March of 2008[4]

Election results

Florida Amendment 7 (2004)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 5,849,125 81.16%
No1,358,18318.84%

Results via: the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections

Text of measure

The ballot title read:

Patients' Right to Know About Adverse Medical Incidents[1][5]

The ballot summary read:

Current Florida law restricts information available to patients related to investigations of adverse medical incidents, such as medical malpractice. This amendment would give patients the right to review, upon request, records of health care facilities' or providers' adverse medical incidents, including those which could cause injury or death. Provides that patients' identities should not be disclosed.[1][5]

The fiscal note read: {{Quote|The direct financial impact this amendment will have on state and local government revenues and expenditures cannot be determined, but is expected to be minimal. State agencies will incur some additional costs to comply with public records requirements of the amendment, but these costs will be generally offset by fees charged to the persons requesting the information.[6]

Constitutional changes

The text of the amendment read:

"Section 22. Patients’ Right to Know About Adverse Medical Incidents. "

(a) In addition to any other similar rights provided herein or by general la w, patients have a right to have access to any records made or received in the course of business by a health care facility or provider relating to any adverse medical incident.

"(b) In providing such access, the identity of patients involved in the incidents shall not be disclosed, and any privacy restrictions imposed by federal law shall be maintained.

"(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings: "(1) The phrases "health care facility" and "health care provider" have the meaning given in general law related to a patient’s rights and responsibilities.

"(2) The term "patient" means an individual who has sought, is seeking, is undergoing, or has undergone care or treatment in a health care facility or by a health care provider.

"(3) The phrase "adverse medical incident" means medical negligence, intentional misconduct, and any other act, neglect, or default of a health care facility or health care provider that caused or could have caused injury to or death of a patient, including, but not limited to, those incidents that are required by state or federal law to be reported to any governmental agency or body, and incidents that are reported to or reviewed by any health care facility peer review , risk management, quality assurance, credentials, or similar committee, or any representative of any such committees.

"(4) The phrase "have access to any records" means, in addition to any other procedure for producing such records provided by general law, making the records available for inspection and copying upon formal or informal request by the patient or a representative of the patient, provided that current records which have been made publicly available by publication or on the Internet may be "provided" by reference to the location at which the records are publicly available."[1]

Campaign Contributions

Florida Dental Political Action Committee donated a total of $482 in support of the proposed amendment.[7]

Path to the ballot

  • The initiative was sponsored by Floridians for Patient Protection.
  • The initiative petition required 488,722 signatures and 519,838 were found valid.[1]

See also

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