Responsibility and liability go hand-in-hand. Whether it's medical record-keeping, telemedicine, social media rules, services provided, or a host of other requirements, medical professionals are constantly working to provide quality care as efficiently and safely as possible – and avoid litigation.

That’s why the Illinois State Medical Society (ISMS) is continually working to ensure harmful bills that would increase the burden of practicing medicine in Illinois and drive physicians out of the state do not become law.

In the last several years, ISMS has worked on the following legislative items related to liability, including but not limited to:

  • ISMS helped secure an Executive Order that extended civil immunity protections to physicians and other healthcare professionals who provided care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • ISMS blocked an effort by the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association that would repeal the long-standing doctrine of "forum non-conveniens," which ensures fundamental fairness by affording courts discretionary power to decline to hear a case when the interests of justice require a trial in a more appropriate forum.
  • ISMS helped preserve the right to a 12-person jury in civil cases, which the Plaintiffs’ bar wanted to reduce to six.

To see ISMS’ specific work on more medical liability issues, please check out the end of session legislative report.

Currently Tracked Bills

ISMS Supports

Protecting Health Records from Ransomware: SB 3440 (Sponsor: Sen. John Connor) - Senate Bill 3440 was introduced because healthcare facilities are seeing a great increase in targeted ransomware activity this year due to so many records being shared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation specifically spells out what ransomware is, and ensures that healthcare facilities are protected under the Illinois Criminal Code for this illegal behavior.  The legislation adds illegal ransomware activity in a healthcare setting as a Class 4 felony. This will better ensure that health records are kept safe and patients’ personal information and medical records are kept private. This bill has not received a committee assignment.

Related Resources

Litigation Stress in the Era of COVID-19
Litigation Stress in the Era of COVID-19
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