Florida victims of medical malpractice and their attorneys have a recognized constitutional First Amendment right of free speech and expression. Currently, our Miami medical malpractice law office represents Mario Viera, an infant circumcised at South Miami Hospital without his parents’ consent. The case garnered international media attention and the family hopes that it will lead to the enactment of a law regulating how circumcisions are performed not only in Florida but the rest of the country.
South Miami Hospital, the facility where the unwanted circumcision was performed, apparently does not appreciate or want to recognize Ms. Delgado’s (Mario’s mother) First Amendment right to free speech and has now asked the Court to impose a gag order to silence not only the mother but her lawyers as well.
The U.S. Constitution provides and protects the most basic rights that our country is founded upon. Our First Amendment right to free speech, while often controversial, is essential to our system of jurisprudence and provides the freedoms that make our country unique in the world.
As Florida patient rights lawyers we believe that victims of medical mistakes have the right to speak about their cases, the media has the right to report about them and the public has the right to know about them. The public’s interest is especially important and served by the free dissemination of information about events having legal consequences. However, the right to free speech must not interfere with the rights of defendant doctors and hospitals to fair trials, especially where a jury is involved.
The greater harm lies in regards to the many medical malpractice claims that resolve long before trial. Typically, defendant hospitals and doctors require that their settlements be kept confidential. The confidentiality clause does little to help promote safer medical practices, to allow patients to make more informed decisions or to provide an opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes