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DAVID - Are members of the latter day saints allowed to file malpractice lawsuits or do they make a stand against lawsuits?
JOEL - The Church has no set policy against the filing of lawsuits. These kinds of things are left up to the individual. Our 12th Article of Faith tells us:
"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." (AofF 12)
Because we believe in honoring and sustaining the law we expect that other citizens of this country should do the same. If through someone's negligence, either intentional or accidental, another is injured in some way, the injured person has a right to legally press charges to compensate them for hardships caused by resulting medical expenses or loss of employment. Doctors pay large amounts of money each year for malpractice insurance to cover such things; that's what it is there for. What is wrong are those who try to take advantage of this system and file frivolous suits which may bennifit a few but in the long run hurts many because of resulting increase of costs passed on to the general public and those who serve them.
We believe as the savior taught, that we should forgive one another and show mercy to those who have wronged us. However we also believe in what the following scripture says:
"What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God." (Alma 42: 25)
God is merciful but not at the expense of justice. If we don't properly repent, we will reap what we sow (D&C 6: 33). The proper repentence process requires making restitution for what we have done against another. In like manner, We can be merciful in the sense that we forgive the act that was perpetrated against us, but in some instances we can also expect the person to make restitution as part of the forgiveness.
The decision to file a lawsuit is up to the individual and should be considered prayerfully to determine what the victim fairly deserves.