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of both patients and hospitals. Consider that unless the hospitals have certainty

concerning the records that must be produced, the task of reviewing all of its

records, redacting patient identifying and other patient confidential information,

and copying the records will potentially be different for each request and will

consume enormous amounts of time and resources. The framework established by

the Legislature also reduces the need for judicial involvement in determining on a

case-by-case basis what must be disclosed. It was for these practical reasons that

the statute was enacted. But if these portions of the statute are deemed in conflict

with the constitutional language, they may be severed.5 As a consequence, Florida

Hospital Association respectfully suggests that the proper course of action for this

Court is to reject the district court's conclusion that the amendment is self-

executing and, as a result, that the entire implementing legislation in section

381.028 is unconstitutional. Instead, the FHA believes that should this Court find

any specific portion of section 381.028 to be in conflict with Amendment 7, it


As this Court said in Ray v. Mortham, 742 So. 2d 1276 (Fla. 1999):

Severability is a judicial doctrine recognizing the obligation of the judiciary to uphold the constitutionality of legislative enactments where it is possible to strike only the unconstitutional portions. See State v. Calhoun County, 126 Fla. 376, 383, 170 So. 883, 886 (1936). This doctrine is derived from the respect of the judiciary for the separation of powers, and is "designed to show great deference to the legislative prerogative to enact laws." Schmitt v. State, 590 So. 2d 404, 415 (Fla. 1991).


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