Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Medical Malpractice 3

Posted by Anonymous on Monday April 2nd 2007 as a comment on one of Flea's posts concerning medical malpractice:

"Human nature's a bitch, isn't it? Good doctors get sued, sometimes with little justification; sometimes the get away with an understandable error of judgement that teaches them to be a better doctor, but leaves some poor smuck with a life long problem; bad doctors sometimes get away with it because patients are ignorant of what really happened, or don't want to sue. A recent Harvard (I think) study showed that the "compensation culture" is a myth, as most people who were treated negligently either did not pursue claims, or were unsuccessful, and some people whose cases had no merit won. The system is a mess, but how can it be sorted out?"

This points out a problem of our system: Most people who suffer a "damage" are not compensated and on the other hand some that are treated correctly are compensated unnecessarily. The system "is a mess", and there is a way to sort this out.

Instead of a court system we need a administrative claim system. Should a patient feel treated incorrectly or damaged, he or she should be able to submit a claim for compensation - similar to Workman's Comp. Patient will be examined by one or two or more physicians, the report will be reviewed by one or more experts, who will award a compensation or not, according to documented lists.

This removes the "fault", the blame, the court, the heated emotions and the lawyer profits. It is shorter and more conducive to open communications between physicians and patients, and more conducive to data collections about complications.

More patients would be compensated, we would learn more about complications and how to avoid them.

This "mess" is actually not difficult to sort out, so ....Why do we not have such as system?

Because our lawyers do not want to give up the "golden goose". That's what is wrong, that's where the problem is. Lawyer greed prevents solving the mess. The lawyers working as politicians in Washington do not want to hurt their buddies by taking away the profitable medical malpractice system that has financed many a second and third villa, boat, luxury car etc

Also, physician do not have a lobby as well funded and powerful as the industry lobby that pushed through Workman's Comp!

Lawyers preserve a system that is inefficient, expensive and slow, not because it is just, fair and good, not because it is the right system, but because it makes them wealthy.
I am not just unhappy about the "lawsuit culture", I am unhappy about a flawed system that might benefit the lawyers more than the injured.

I want "Patient's Comp". Or let's say "Mother's Comp" for obstetrical complications.

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