Critics Claim Arbitration in Medical Cases Limits Rights

Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 15, 2011

Sandy Runkle, resident of Henderson, walked out of a doctor’s visit. The doctor refused to provide treatment and told her she would have to find another doctor if she would not sign the paper agreeing to submit any dispute arising from her association with the doctor to binding arbitration. She refused to sign it stating, “It’s my legal right. It’s my constitutional right. It’s one of our basic rights. I don’t want it taken from me.”

Although binding arbitration agreements are quite common in consumer society, their use in medicine continues to be controversial. The shift towards binding arbitration in the world of medicine has been at least partially attributed to insurance premiums which have skyrocketed, making binding arbitration clauses necessary. While arbitration may help with lowering costs, signing a clause should not be a prerequisite for receiving medical care.

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