Usually when you hear about a medical error, a surgical mistake, or some form of medical negligence, your immediate response is to think about the victim. So today, let’s switch it around and think about the effect these medical errors — and the medical malpractice lawsuits that they inevitably lead to — have on the medical field.
According to many in the medical field, medical malpractice lawsuits are on a rapid rise. This is having a profound impact on finances and costs, they say. But another effect this is having on the field is that there are far few doctors going into specialized roles in medicine, and there are many senior specialists who refuse to perform certain procedures. The end result, some say, is that the medical field is less equipped to deal with certain things, and the costs of certain medical procedures will only go up.
In a certain light, you can see how and why this effect is taking shape. Doctors are trying to protect their careers, and this is a natural response to these lawsuits.
But at the same time, there’s no “doing away” with medical malpractice lawsuits. When a patient is negatively affected by a medical professional’s mistake, the patient is entitled to seek justice in civil court. In fact, they need that justice to help them deal with their current medical condition and the medical bills associated with the mistake.
Regardless of how this “crisis,” as medical professionals are calling it, is dealt with, patients need to be protected from medical mistakes. These lawsuits are one of the only ways to protect them. Even if improved processes are implemented, or greater incentives are applied to get doctors to move to specialized roles, medical malpractice lawsuits will still be an integral part of the field.
Source: Destinyconnection, “An ‘explosion’ of medical malpractice lawsuits is forcing doctors to change careers,” Bulelwa Dayimani, March 10, 2015