which patients, when and at what cost. The implementing legislation was necessary
to provide hospitals and patients with certainty so that the process could be as
efficient and inexpensive as possible, thus carrying out the voters' overall intent.
Ignoring the ambiguities of the Amendment and in the face of these clearly
unintended results, the court below determined that because the Amendment was
self-executing the Legislature could not enact implementing legislation and
allowed the Amendment 7 disclosure process to be injected into discovery in a
The lower court erred in both respects. Regardless of whether the
Amendment was self-executing, the Legislature was well within its prerogative in
enacting a statutory scheme to supplement and implement the Amendment in a
way that made it easier for patients and hospitals to understand and apply.
Furthermore, Amendment 7 was never advertised to voters as a means to
assist plaintiffs in malpractice cases through the expansion of discovery rights.
Injecting Amendment 7 disclosure rights into the discovery process leads to results
that are plainly not contemplated by the language of the Amendment itself. The
rules of discovery in legal proceedings would allow co-defendants who are not
"patients," such as physicians who are the subject of the peer review records, to
obtain access to records of "adverse medical incidents" in contravention of the
plain language of the Amendment. In so doing, the Amendment would be applied