MAN ON A MISSION: He'll protest at convention
by Ann Trafton
A Pembroke man with a lonely mission will be among the hundreds of thousands of protesters expected
to descend on the GOP convention in New York City next week.
John McCormack, whose baby daughter Taylor died in 2000 after
doctors delayed emergency surgery, wants some answers from President Bush regarding the president's proposed $250,000 cap
on awards for pain and suffering due to medical malpractice.
"I want to ask him the really hard question- if this happened
to his wife and his children, are they worth $250,000?" said McCormack, who will wear a sandwich sign bearing photos of Taylor
and statistics about medical malpractice.
Although McCormack plans to travel and protest alone, he says that Taylor, who
would have turned 5 last Monday, will be with him in spirit.
"I think that's my daughter?s legacy, to make society a better
place, and I?m her voice to do that," he said.
McCormack is suing three Children's Hospital physicians because 13- month
old Taylor died after surgeons there postponed surgery to relieved pressure on her brain.
He says the lawsuit and his opposition
to award caps are not about money.
"There's not enough money in the world that's going to make me whole again, I?m always
going to have that loss, he said. " I?m living every parent's nightmare and I don't want other families to have to go though
After they were barred from disciplinary hearings for their daughter's doctors, McCormack and his wife, Catherine,
fought for Taylor's Law, which gives patients and their families the right to be present with an attorney and confront doctors
at such hearings.
Gov. Mitt Romney signed the legislation into law in May, and McCormack now hopes to take the measure
By taking his message to the Republican convention, McCormack hopes to draw more attention to the plight of
families who have lost loved ones through medical malpractice.
He is heading for New York on Monday night and will spend
all day Tuesday wearing his sign and handing out copies of a book called " Wall of Silence: The Untold. Story of the Medical
Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans."
McCormack plans to be at several areas in the city, including Rockefeller
Plaza, Times Square and Madison Square Garden, the site of the convention.
He said he's frustrated that the president,
who characterized malpractice lawsuits as " junk"? and "frivolous" has refused invitations to meet with the Center for Justice
and Democracy, which advocates for the rights of malpractice victims.
McCormack said he voted for Bush in 2000, but now
says, That was a great mistake. I thought he was a stand-up guy but evidently he?s not.
His response to Bush's assessment
of malpractice lawsuits is written boldly across his sign, above a photo of Taylor: " My child is not frivolous or junk, She's
a human being."
McCormack, a state trooper, said he plans to protest peacefully and is not fazed by the tight security
that will be in place around the city.
"I?m not breaking any laws,"he said, "I?m just exercising my First Amendment rights
of freedom of speech."