Giving birth to a child is the most common reason for a hospital admission, and while most births are pure joy, on rare occasions, there is sadness due to unforeseen issues that only become apparent at birth. Neurological injuries that make a child's development unclear can be frightening.
Marylanders want newborns with neurological injuries to be taken care of so that they can reach their full potential. It is important to focus on what can make life better for these children and make the process as easy and logical as possible. Fighting over who will pay for this expensive care creates an even more expensive health care system in which much of the energy and resources that are expended don't help the child.
Understanding how to prevent birth defects will not come from lawsuits and court fights, even though that is the current system. We can learn more about how neurological injuries occur by maintaining better records and an environment oriented toward finding answers to such questions.
A bill in the Maryland legislature would take a complicated system and make it simpler by having the health care system pay into a fund to provide care for children who need it. It creates an information system to study birth injuries and could help medical science develop better practices for treating them.
With a Birth Injury Fund, more injured babies will get the lifetime care they need because it's based on their injury, not the outcome of a lawsuit. That is why MedChi firmly supports Senate Bill 585 and House Bill 553.
The writer is president of MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society.