Re: A nothing-complicated Sunday

On Fri, 13 Aug 2010 03:47:37 -0700 (PDT), CigarBaron wrote:

On Aug 13, 12:54 am, "tycho" <t...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
And, no, Physicians don't have to be right 110% of the time; not at all.
They only have to adhere to the "ordinary standard of care."  Quite a
different test, and I have personally seen a number of cases where someone
suffers some real harm that you wouldn't think they should have suffered,
but it is "not win-able" because the doctor did in fact adhere to the
"ordinary standard of care."

In a perfect world you're correct. And, in the old days of med-mal,
physicians won 90% in court when standards of care were met. The
problem is that jury's are awarding ungodly sums to plaintiffs who
clearly have not proven that their was malpractice involved in a
negative outcome of treatment. And, given the 2-3 years it takes to
get to court, the hours spent in defending appropriate treatments, the
bogus "specialists" who are out there for hire from malpractice mills,
and the toll it takes on physicians it's a different ball game. Look
at what's going on in Philadelphia regarding med-mal awards. I pay
more for malpractice in Coraopolis PA compared to LA because of the
problems in our commonwealth. A loser pay system would end that.
Also, panels to determine the merit of a case before it goes forward
and award caps would help the situation greatly. However the Dems
are rabid anti-med-mal reformists and nothing ever moves forward to
help physicians.

Capping awards to damages only and leaving the punitive part to
the medical associations would be a very good start. Secondly,
why not let patients sign a waiver that explains to them in
single-syllable Anglo-Saxon words that medicine is art as much as
science, that there is no such thing as a perfect approach to any
medical problem, and that no treatment is 100% perfect or 100%

"Loser pays", though, is a very different proposition. This
would ask patients to risk the law courts against hospitals and
insurance companies with VERY deep pockets, knowing that it only
takes a little legal technicality to send them and their families
into ruin. This may deter speculative or nuisance suits, but it
will also be a powerful tool to stop even the most justified

Perhaps another approach might be specialised courts for medical
matters: a venue where the judge and juries are actually
medically trained and can understand both the complexities of the
issues and the wider environment of practical medicine.