The easy scapegoat in the rising costs of physician insurance and medical malpractice lawsuits is the trial lawyer. Let us not forget that medical professionals are given the opportunity to deter instances of medical errors which would enable them to avoid these lawsuits altogether. However, when doing so, they place too little a burden on themselves.
For example, in the state medical board issued new guidelines that could lead to lower fines for doctors who commit their first error. Lower fines? Is that a deterrence to medical error? No, it’s not. Moreover, the rules also don’t call for suspensions for surgeons that make a second mistake, as some in the profession suggested.
The tort reform argument made by these doctors might be slightly more legitimate if the doctors were interested in policing themselves which, as these guidelines illustrate, they are not.
As a result, medical errors will likely not be decreased and lawsuits will continued to be filed as the only way victims of medical malpractice can obtain justice.
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