Damages in the event of actual malpractice should not be limited by tort
reform I know that if I were to have surgery to remove a diseased left
kidney, and the surgeon removed my healthy right one instead, I would be
inclined to sue to the full extent of the doctor's insurance limits, as
should be my right. What I have a problem with are frivolous suits of
questionable veracity such as uneven sutures resulting in an
Many potential suits could be avoided if patients were educated. What is
the purpose of this procedure, what tests indicated its usefulness, what
possible side effects are to be expected, etc. A person's abnormal
reaction to a routine procedure should be treated , to be sure, but not
to the extent of creating a multimillionaire of the patient and a pauper
of the doctor. Medicine is not now, nor is it likely to ever be, an
exact science. A doctor who correctly performs a procedure that should
be expected to cure a condition, should be safe from the threat of
litigation if the procedure is unsuccessful through no fault of the
physician. Malpractice insurance would be far more affordable if this
were the case. Physicians who are grossly incompetent or careless
deserve to be nailed and should lose their license or have restrictions
placed upon it.
Good Sam laws that have been enacted in most states protect a doctor who
encounters an actual emergency , such as a traffic accident, and
attempts to render aid. He is, and should be, exempt from the danger of
a lawsuit, as long as his actions were reasonable and appropriate. We
need to balance the right of the patient to receive competent medical
care at a reasonable fee with the right of the physician to be free from
the threat of litigation if he commits no errors, regardless of the
outcome. Any physician should be capable of stabilizing a victim and
preparing the patient for transport, but I have known some who should
not be allowed to prepare a pound of hamburger for transport home from
the grocery. These need to be weeded out, and the patient right to
litigation is one of the surest methods of doing so..
I once had a physician prescribe codeine, despite the fact that my chart
clearly states that I am allergic to it. Were I not proactive in my own
health care, I could have died as the result of a simple dog bite. Some
patients would have sued merely for being given a prescription to which
they were allergic, whether they took the medication or not. My 80+ year
old grandmother, limited by a fourth grade education, would not have
known to ask the composition of the medication or the signs of a
potential problem. Does this mean that she would have deserved to die?
Absolutely not. It means that our already overworked and overstressed
physicians are apt to make simple mistakes, just like all of us have
been known to do on occasion. Censure is appropriate in these cases,
but damages should be limited to what is necessary to make the patient
healthy once again.
Billy Zoom wrote:
>> Will the lobbyists let the
>> legislature enact the tort reform necessary to control this?
> Well, let's see. What percentage of our elected officials are lawyers?
> I don't see tort reform in the near future.
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