tom_lee.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Senate is making it harder to pursue medical malpractice claims. The Senate on Wednesday voted 27-12 for the bill and sent it to the House.

The legislation (SB 1792) requires that expert witnesses called against a defendant doctor practice the exact same kind of medicine and not just be in "similar'' fields.

The bill also allows any health care provider called as a witness to breach patient confidentiality and give attorneys information about a patient's treatment.

Opponents called the legislation "overkill'' and said it could potentially shield doctors from lawsuits even when they doing something wrong.

Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, the prime sponsor, said the bill was an effort to create "fairness'' in the system where doctors accused are not subjected to a "voodoo scientist'' who testifies against them.

*Pictured above is Sen. Tom Lee.