Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
Yes, there is malpractice, but our current system is insane.
"A little legal education is necessary to understand malpractice:For a malpractice suit to be successful, there are five necessary things:1. A duty to treat - there has to be an established doctor - patient relationship. A typical example would be someone who corners me at a party and asks me what I think is causing their abdominal pain. I give them my card, ask them to make an appointment for a check-up, they never do, and the pain turns out to be fatal cancer - in that case I had no duty to treat.2. Failure to practice the standard of care - note - this does not mean the BEST care in the world - it means the average, or median standard of care.3. A physician in the same specialty willing to testify that the doctor practiced below the standard of care - all States require this.4. Causation - the substandard care has to have caused the patient's problem - again, this requires expert physician testimony.5. Damages - if the substandard care causes no damage, there is no basis for a suit.Now, I ask you - how can 99% of obstetrician gynecologists, neurosurgeons, emergency physicians, neonatologists (pediatricians who take care of premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit), and other high-risk specialists practice worse medicine than average? It's mathematically impossible.By the way, in the back of law journals are ads for medical expert companies that promise they will get a doctor to testify to anything the lawyer wants.Yes, there is malpractice, but our current system is insane."
I am not an attorney or a doctor, but it seems self-evident that our legal system enables "fishing expeditions" in search of a settlement by keeping the cost of "fishing" very low, the rewards high and no penalties for abuse of the law, by which I mean issuing unsubstantiated or fraudulent accusations in the hopes of triggering a nuisance settlement, i.e. it's cheaper and less stressful for the accused to pay the accuser a substantial sum to make him go away.
1. How can anyone defend a system as fair, just and cost-effective when 99% of all physicians dealing with serious cases end up being accused of malpractice? It would take about 30 seconds to come up with a lower-cost, more just and effective system than what passes for "justice" in America.2. The vast majority of poor people don't end up having their day in court because that day in court is as absurdly expensive as sickcare. "Justice" in America goes more or less to the highest bidder, outside of propaganda-type Hollywood films.Legal services are extremely expensive and mostly paid in cash, so only the wealthy can afford legal representation or advice.
It's not just our healthcare system that is bankrupt--so is our legal system.