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Authors

Karen E. Martin

Abstract

To combat the explosion of medical malpractice claims, some states have made arbitration a mandatory prerequisite to filing medical malpractice suits. These states hope that mandatory arbitration will decrease the number of claims and lessen the impact of medical malpractice suits. The federal government has created an obstacle to this effort in the form of the emergency medical treatment statute. This federal statute regulates emergency room care, but courts have been hesitant to call it a medical malpractice statute. As a result of the ambiguity in the federal statute, claimants are able to avoid state-mandated arbitration, thereby circumventing the goals of reducing the number of claims and lessening their impact. This problem is illustrated in the case of Brooks v. Maryland General Hospital, Inc.2 This Note addresses the problem and offers solutions.

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