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Doctor Discusses the Myth of Defensive Medicine

A medical doctor wrote to salon.com to voice his opposition to the belief that capping malpractice suits will make healthcare cheaper. He stated that changing medical liability laws will not improve healthcare or its costs. Also the doctor believes that defensive medicine adds very little to healthcare’s price tag and rising malpractice premiums have had very little impact on access to care. He quoted the Justice Departments explanation for the rising number of medical malpractice suits. According to that 2007 report, “growing healthcare costs and an increasing effort by many attorneys to litigate only those medical malpractice claims involving severe injuries or wrongful death” explains increases in medical malpractice suits. Additionally the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of healthcare spending. Also, a recent Harvard study found that most medical malpractice claims were meritorious. They involved medical error and the legal system acted appropriately to fix that medical error. To read more of the doctor’s opinions, please click the link.