by Jon Guze
Senior Fellow, Legal Studies, John Locke Foundation
The John Locke Foundation has filed an amicus brief in Singh v. NCDHHS, the lawsuit filed against the state of North Carolina by Winston-Salem surgeon Dr. Gajendra Singh. The brief was filed in Wake County Superior Court and was written by Jon Guze, JLF’s director of legal studies and a licensed attorney who practiced for 20 years in Durham before joining the foundation.
Dr. Singh contends the state’s Certificate-of-Need (CON) law is unconstitutional and infringes on his right to serve his patients. He is challenging the law related to Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines, or MRIs. CON law requires doctors and hospitals to get permission from the state before they can purchase new equipment and/or expand facilities and offerings. The state, not the doctor or hospital, determines what is ‘needed’ and what is not.
“Not only is the CON law unconstitutional as Dr. Singh asserts, but it directly harms patients and taxpayers by making health care more expensive and less accessible,” Guze said. “Our friend-of-the-court brief responds to the state’s motion to dismiss this case. We show that, contrary to the state’s claims, Dr. Singh has indeed suffered direct injury, and will continue to suffer injury, as a result of the CON law. Each of his constitutional claims is supported by law.”
The brief also provides evidence that CON laws restrict access to health care and increase costs.
Scroll through the brief below, or read/download a printable version at right.