Since taking over the majority in the House of Representatives, many Republicans have vowed to address what they say is a scourge of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. Even President Obama seemed amenable to reform when he mentioned the issue during his recent State of the Union speech.
However, evidence continues to suggest that, if anything, we see too few medical malpractice lawsuits. Studies also show lawsuits have a negligible effect on our overall healthcare costs.
The New York Times reported earlier this month that one of Congress’ most ardent advocates for malpractice reform, Republican Phil Gingrey of Georgia, was actually sued multiple times during his former career as an obstetrician. One case involved a pregnant woman who lost her fetus after several doctors, including Gingrey, failed to recognize her appendicitis. That case settled in 2007, five years after Gingrey was elected to Congress. In another lawsuit against Gingrey earlier in his career, a jury ruled against him. The story is revealing.
Those monitoring this debate owe it to themselves to also get the perspective of victims of preventable medical errors; people who have lost limbs, been paralyzed, or been forced to change careers because of a preventable medical mistake.
Here’s an example of a potentially tragic error that recently took place at a pharmacy.
Click here to read an excerpt from Tom Baker’s The Medical Malpractice Myth .