We recently stumbled upon an article regarding the sudden prevalence of arbitration agreements (between doctors and patients) in the context of medical procedures. Here is an excerpt:
Arbitration agreements seem to be popping up in every kind of transaction these days. For those who are unfamiliar with them, they are contracts where parties give up their rights to go to court and present their cases to judges and juries. These probably make sense in a lot of commercial relationships like with credit cards, exterminators, cell phones or FedEx. It will in most cases streamline the dispute resolution process by eliminating the time and delay that most litigants experience if they are trying to move their case through our already-overburdened legal system.
I have been suing doctors and hospitals in Miami for over twenty years, and recently I have seen these arbitration agreements pop up in plastic surgery and nursing home cases with an alarming frequency. I do not believe that health care is a commercial transaction. Sure, money is exchanged for services, but the inclusion of arbitration agreements by doctors and clinics highlights the fact that, to most providers, patients are nothing more than customers — customers who carry a limited profit upside and a potentially unlimited legal exposure downside, when and if things go wrong.
Continue reading here. Any comments?