Monday, September 07, 2009

Healthcare USA: Juridics: Tort-reform MD gives doctors' side of the problem their practices attract

Dr Marc Siegel, on the FoxNews Health blog, "Tort Reform and Medical Practice" (Aug28,2k9).

In the current push for national health insurance, expensive overuse of technology based on the defensive practice of medicine by doctors is being overlooked. Yet doctors often over-order tests and treatments for fear of missing a remote diagnosis. Doctors are afraid of being sued by the same aggressive trial lawyers who lobby Congress against real reform. Keep in mind that it isn’t just a dreaded error like removing the wrong kidney that motivates doctors to practice defensively, it is the fear of lawyers and having to meet with them as part and parcel of responding to arbitrary lawsuits. Doctors who have done nothing wrong can be targeted with frivolous suits that drag them into the lawyer’s office. The process of having your records scrutinized in an effort to determine how well you’ve documented things and if you’ve made errors can be instructive, but it can also be humiliating. This process can alter the way a doctor practices as he or she struggles to avoid the nightmare of legal exposure in future.
I'd been watching for a good treatment of the Tort issue that are said to drive the rising costs of healthcare (I doubt that as a generalization, but acknowledge of course the problem of patients, scammers, and ambulance-chasing lawyers).

But notably, the doctor-propagandist makes no room for a case like that of the 15-yr-old woudbe h+school football player who was ignored by his coach until the kid collapsed on the field, was sent still alive to the doctors at a certain hospital who cared for the boy somewhat until he died three days later, upon which the "medical examiners" refused to mandate an autopsy to determine factors in the boy's death. This is a case of rationing procedures, presumably to hid the real cause of death.

Siegel's article remains quite informative despite its one-sidedness.

-- Politicarp

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