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proposed florida abortion statute February 10, 2017

Posted by Bradley in : regulation , add a comment

The Miami Herald reported on a move in the Florida Legislature by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, a personal injury lawyer with the Graill Law Group in Vero Beach, Florida in an article with the title: “If you regret having abortion, proposed law would let you sue the doctor years later” . The Bill allows a woman “who suffers emotional distress as a result of a physician’s failure to obtain informed consent” (under the statute) to sue the physician for damages up to ten years after the procedure, even where there is a signed informed consent form. The buill says the claim would not be for medical malpractice and the rules on medical malpractice would not apply.
If this is a good idea, which I doubt, why not apply the same idea to other medical procedures that seem to be the source of emotional distress and other psychological problems and where people are induced into undergoing the procedures by unrealistic hopes about the difference to their lives that the procedures will make? Here I am thinking, of course, of cosmetic surgery. Everywhere you go in South Florida you see encouragements to undergo cosmetic procedures. Even when I go to the dentist I am faced with posters advertising fillers. And we know that cosmetic surgery can be expensive and lead to non-financial distress and disappointment. In the cosmetic surgery context informed consent is undermined by pervasive advertising of an endless range of products from skin creams to botox as well as adverts for surgery. So why is that not a priority for Florida lawmakers?

mps’ expenses January 5, 2011

Posted by Bradley in : regulation , add a comment

The UK’s Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has published a consultation document seeking input on the new MPs expenses scheme and on how it “does business”:

We recognise that initially we needed to operate as if we were providing services to a customer. This has had certain consequences, not least the ever-increasing demand for detailed advice and interpretation of detailed rules and guidance. The cost to the tax-payer is considerable. We are clear that the model of how we do business must evolve. Yes, we must address the Scheme’s rules. But yes, we must also address IPSA’s role. IPSA is above all a regulatory body. As such, we will be exploring ways of doing business which reflect this role.

Why does IPSA feel it is doing business, and providing services to customers (which seem to be the MPs and not the taxpayers)? After all, it was introduced to deal with massive manipulations of the earlier expenses scheme. And the document notes that “contributing to the restoration of public confidence in our democratic institutions” was one of IPSA’s important aims, and that IPSA tends to hear more from MPs than it does from the public. There are some suggestions of moving towards a more principles-based system, for example with respect to claims for taxi fares, which are only allowed when absolutely necessary but could be left to MPs’ discretion on the basis that the claims would be published and visible.

Meanwhile, the customers are complaining. MPs argue that the current rules interfere with their family life – for example, if they have chosen to live in London (where their job requires them to spend a bit less than half the year) but have constituencies outside London where they must spend weekends doing constituency business, they will not see their children at the weekend. This problem might be solved were they to live in the constituency (and this would have the added benefit that they might develop a better understanding of their constituents’ lives). Why should the UK have a system which encourages Londoners to represent people in other parts of the country rather than a system which might encourage people to stand for Parliament from the places where they belong?

Travel expenses for family members are also an issue. The document asks:

Should the rules on claiming travel costs for family members be changed? In particular, should MPs be able to claim for spouses’ or partners’ travel costs when they are travelling between the MP’s London Area residence and constituency residence: (a) with dependent children aged between five and 16 years; (b) with the MP only; or (c) on their own when visiting the MP?

MPs are currently developing rules which threaten the family lives of the rest of the population, for example by the regressive step of increasing VAT, by ill-conceived changes to the health service, and increasing the cost of attending university. Perhaps MPs might consider these other issues more carefully if they had to experience the sort of belt-tightening they want to impose on everyone else.

back to the noughties June 4, 2010

Posted by Bradley in : regulation , comments closed

Business Secretary Vince Cable:

The deluge of new regulations has been choking off enterprise for too long. We must move away from the view that the only way to solve problems is to regulate.
The Government has wide-ranging social and ecological goals including protecting consumers and protecting the environment. This requires increased social responsibility on the part of businesses and individuals.

Old rhetoric (even if the press notice tries to present this as new), a new challenge group, and a new reducing Regulation Committee (described oddly in the press notice as a new Cabinet “Star Chamber”) but will the policy on regulation change very much?