updated 1/13/2005 12:34:45 PM ET 2005-01-13T17:34:45

A doctor in Washington state has dropped a patient because she refused to sign an initiative to limit malpractice awards.

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Obstetrician Mark Mulholland says he didn’t want to continue the doctor-patient relationship because of their philosophical difference.

Jamie Chavez feels she was “fired” as a patient and has filed a complaint with a state disciplinary board.

Mulholland, who says his malpractice insurance premiums rose 30 percent last year, said he offered to provide emergency care for 30 days and refer her to another doctor.

Mulholland collected more than 2,000 signatures for the initiative, which doctors have submitted to the state Legislature. It would limit compensation for pain and suffering in malpractice lawsuits.

Trial lawyers have submitted a competing initiative. Both are likely to end up on a ballot for voters to decide.

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