Defensive Medicine and Medical Malpractice

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Fear of medical malpractice lawsuits is affecting the way doctor's practice medicine. At one time, if a doctor saw a patient in the ER complaining of chest pains, he or she would take a history and do some basic tests. If the tests showed no indication of a heart problem, the person would be sent home. That would be viewed as practicing good medicine and the doctor could not be sued if the patient died later of a heart attack. These days, things are changing in some states, enough so that doctors feel they need to practice defensive medicine to prevent being sued. The same patient from the first example going to the ER in another state would be admitted and run through an endless battery of tests, ostensibly to avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Does this avoid Medical Malpractice?

The answer is no. No matter how many tests are run, if the person interpreting them makes a mistake or misreads them, there may still be a medical malpractice case filed due to a bad medical outcome. The dilemma today is that many doctors reportedly feel defensive medicine is necessary to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits. The battery of test performed by doctors not wanting to be sued for medical malpractice is often waste of time, money and resources. Sometimes bad medical outcomes happen, no matter what a doctor does. This is what makes medical malpractice lawsuits so complicated. Medical Malpractice is about deviating from an approved medical standard. If a physician does not meet the set standards of their specialty and does not have an explanation as to why they did deviate from the accepted norm and something awful happens, they need to be held liable for the consequences.

Frivolous Medical Malpractice Law Suits

There is a national debate around medical malpractice lawsuits. If a doctor does everything right and something bad happens, they feel they deserve to be protected. The courts are offer this protection to the patient and the doctor. Most medical malpractice lawsuits are settled out side the court room; meaning the insurance coverage accepted some level of responsibility. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim costs the plaintiff's law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars. The attorneys accepting these cases are making significant financial investments to pursue what they earnestly believe to be negligence. It is not to say some suits lack merit. Insurance defense attorneys and personal injury attorney argue the merits of each claim and often reach agreement meeting all parties approval. When that is not the case, it is the court's decision if a negligent act resulted in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

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