Access to the medical record: imagine that you've just been diagnosed with a serious illness - after talking to your doctor, you would probably want to investigate the medical literature yourself to compare possible treatments and better understand your situation; however, you'll almost certainly find yourself unable to access the vast majority of medical journals without spending up to $30 for each article. This is an everyday reality for thousands of patients whom the high price of access to journals prevents from better understanding the challenges they face and how best to overcome them.
More knowledge leads to better outcomes: as President Obama pointed out in his recent speech to the American Medical Association, far too many doctors are making decisions without the benefit of the latest medical research. Through no fault of their own, physicians not affiliated with a teaching or research institution must usually make do with limited access to the newest medical literature. Opening access to research would allow these doctors access to information that will let them make better decisions - decisions based on the most up-to-date medical knowledge, leading to more effective treatment and better outcomes.