Dealing with Medical Malpractice asks two interrelated questions: What are medical malpractice systems like in other societies, particularly in "publicly owned" health care systems? What is the relationship between professional autonomy of the medical profession and the characteristics of a society's malpractice system? The author's investigations in England and Sweden resulted in a well-researached and carefully analyzed study of approaches to malpractice in these Western industrialized countries. Rosenthal also provides insight into issues of professional autonomy in a system in which physicians are employees of a state health care system.
The brain represents the final frontier in medical sciences. Clinical neurosciences include the subspecialties of neurology, neurosurgery, neuro-imaging, cerebrovascular interventional specialties, neurocritical care, and the allied specialties in pharmacy and nursing. The first lens through which we see our patients is the clinical perspective; however, the complexity of neurosciences and the rapidity of the advances in these subspecialties require that clinicians not lose sight of the personhood of the patients, the professionalism required in the care of these complex patients, or the regulatory environment in which we practice. Science and technology are advancing more rapidly than regulations or the law can interpret and integrate them into a supportive or regulatory framework. Thus, morality, ethics, and the law comprise the final lens through which we approach complex patient management issues, frame our communications with patients and families, and evaluate the risks and potential benefits of new technology. Ethics and Law for Neurosciences Clinicians is written for all clinicians in the neurosciences specialties to examine and re-examine the ethical and legal implications of advances in clinical neurosciences.
The individual and structural biases that affect the American healthcare system have serious emotional and physical consequences that all too often go unseen. These biases are often rooted in power, class, racial, gender or sexual orientation prejudices, and as a result, the injured parties usually lack the resources needed to protect themselves. In Healthcare and Human Dignity, individual worth, equality, and autonomy emerge as the dominant values at stake in encounters with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and drug companies. Although the public is aware of legal battles over autonomy and dignity in the context of death, the everyday patient’s need for dignity has received scant attention. Thus, in Healthcare, law professor Frank McClellan’s collection of cases and individual experiences bring these stories to life and establish beyond doubt that human dignity is of utmost priority in the everyday process of healthcare decision making.
Dr. James Burt believed women’s bodies were broken, and only he could fix them. In the 1950s, this Ohio OB-GYN developed what he called “love surgery,” a unique procedure he maintained enhanced the sexual responses of a new mother, transforming her into “a horny little house mouse.” Burt did so without first getting the consent of his patients. Yet he was allowed to practice for over thirty years, mutilating hundreds of women in the process.
It would be easy to dismiss Dr. Burt as a monstrous aberration, a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein. Yet as medical historian Sarah Rodriguez reveals, that’s not the whole story. The Love Surgeon asks tough questions about Burt’s heinous acts and what they reveal about the failures of the medical establishment: How was he able to perform an untested surgical procedure? Why wasn’t he obliged to get informed consent from his patients? And why did it take his peers so long to take action?
The Love Surgeon is both a medical horror story and a cautionary tale about the limits of professional self-regulation.
In this landmark book, Neil Vidmar looks beyond the common perceptions of medical malpractice litigation and finds a system that is fair, impartial, and intelligent. Firmly grounded in a wealth of empirical data, the author presents a fresh look at a civil jury system that has been maligned as out-of-touch, capricious, and disposed to awarding exorbitant, unjustified amounts to plaintiffs whenever they have the opportunity. In an era when tort reform is high on the congressional agenda, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is almost alone in voicing reason and fact.
Written in a thoroughly inviting, jargon-free style, Medical Malpractice and the American Jury places those cases that go to trial in the broader context of litigation, noting that only about ten percent of malpractice cases ever result in trials. Of those that do go to trial, the author notes, more than two out of three cases are decided in the doctor's favor--repudiating the view that jurors are inherently biased against doctors and are motivated more by sympathy for the plaintiff than by the facts of the case.
Neil Vidmar comprehensively addresses all the claims that have been leveled against the performance of malpractice juries. For example, he compares actual jury decisions on negligence with neutral physicians' ratings of whether negligence occurred in the medical treatment and finds a remarkable consistency--repudiating the view that jurors are unable to understand experts or uncritically defer to their opinion.
"Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is quite simply the most compelling, comprehensive examination of the American jury system yet written. It brings reason and fact to the debate in a way that puts the lie to the many myths surrounding medical negligence cases. For anyone genuinely interested in just solutions, this book should be required reading. To act in ignorance of its findings invites disaster." --Trial
"For anyone really interested in the evidence about the daily grind of the courthouse mill, Neil Vidmar's Medical Malpractice and the American Jury is a good place to start." --Washington Post Book World
Neil Vidmar is Professor of Social Science and Law, Duke Law School, and Professor of Psychology, Duke University.
From practical to philosophical considerations, this succinct, clear presentation of medical malpractice issues is a valuable resource for the classroom and the reference shelf. Frank M. McClellan illustrates the multitude of considerations that impact the merit of each case, never losing sight of the importance of preserving human dignity in malpractice lawsuits.
Early chapters urge the evaluation of legal, medical, and ethical standards, especially the Standard of Care. Part II focuses on assessing and proving compensatory and punitive damages, Part III sets out guidelines for intelligence gathering, medical research, choosing expert witnesses, and preparing for trial.
Students of law, medicine, and public health, as well as lawyers and health care professionals, will find in Medical Malpractice a valuable text or reference book. "Problems" in twelve of the thirteen chapters illustrate the range of issues that can arise in malpractice suits. An appendix lists leading cases that have shaped medical malpractice law.
American health care is in crisis because of exploding medical malpractice litigation. Insurance premiums for doctors and malpractice lawsuits are skyrocketing, rendering doctors both afraid and unable to afford to continue to practice medicine. Undeserving victims sue at the drop of a hat, egged on by greedy lawyers, and receive eye-popping awards that insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors themselves struggle to pay. The plaintiffs and lawyers always win; doctors, and the nonlitigious, always lose; and affordable health care is the real victim.
This, according to Tom Baker, is the myth of medical malpractice, and as a reality check he offers The Medical Malpractice Myth, a stunning dismantling of this familiar, but inaccurate, picture of the health care industry. Are there too many medical malpractice suits? No, according to Baker; there is actually a great deal more medical malpractice, with only a fraction of the cases ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. Is too much litigation to blame for the malpractice insurance crisis? No, for that we can look to financial trends and competitive behavior in the insurance industry. Are these lawsuits frivolous? Very rarely. Point by point, Baker—a leading authority on insurance and law—pulls together the research that demolishes the myths that have taken hold about medical malpractice and suggests a series of legal reforms that would help doctors manage malpractice insurance while also improving patient safety and medical accountability.
President Bush has made medical malpractice reform a priority in his last term in office, but if history is any indication, legislative reform would only worsen the situation and perpetuate the gross misunderstanding of it. The debate surely will be transformed by The Medical Malpractice Myth, a book aimed squarely at general readers but with radical conclusions that speak to the highest level of domestic policymaking.
• Two weeks after Johnny Moore was discharged from a psychiatric hospital, the deeply troubled teenager took a lethal overdose of the antidepressant prescribed by his psychiatrist.
• Dennis Gould suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. He let a streetcar cut off his right arm rather than carry out his divine mission to kill his ex-girlfriend, Shelley Rotman; three years later––while under psychiatric care and after several hospitalizations––Gould stabbed the young woman to death with his left arm.
• After seven months of psychotherapy as his only treatment in a private psychiatric hospital, Raphael Osheroff’s symptoms of the agitated depression that had destroyed his medical practice and personal life were more severe than ever. At a second hospital, Osheroff was given the antidepressant drugs he had been asking for––and he rapidly improved.
• Joan Barkley went to Dr. Jonathan Fox for help in overcoming her addiction to Darvon. After a year of therapy, the twice-weekly sessions turned into intense sexual encounters, which continued for two years.
James Kelley tells the true stories of people who sought help from psychiatrists and ended up suing them for malpractice. These tales are compelling, tragic, and sometimes bizarre. They offer a unique view into a relationship that is normally confidential and caring––but can be catastrophic when it goes wrong. Kelley discusses several cases that received national attention: former Reagan administration press secretary James Brady's suit against the psychiatrist who had been treating John Hinckley; the Tarasoff decision that established the psychiatrist’s duty to warn potential victims of a patient’s threats; and the disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Margaret Bean-Bayog for her unusual “mothering” treatment of Paul Lozano.
Kelley accompanies detailed accounts of courtroom clashes––based on court records––with clear, even-handed treatments of four kinds of psychiatric malpractice cases: a patient’s suicide, a patient’s violence against other people, a psychotherapist's sexual misconduct, and the use of unconventional treatments. With a wealth of examples, he explains the role of psychiatrists as expert witnesses against each other, the difficulties of predicting the outcomes of these suits, and the balances psychiatrists and judges have to strike between the duties owed to patients, on the one hand, and to society on the other.
Whether you identify with the patients or the psychiatrists, you will find these tales unforgettable. Kelley writes in nontechnical language for the general reader, stressing the human elements. His lucid analyses of key, current issues make his book essential reading for professionals in mental health or law––and for anyone contemplating a malpractice suit.
Suing for Medical Malpractice
Frank A. Sloan, Penny B. Githens, Ellen Wright Clayton, Gerald B. Hickson, Dougl University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress KF2905.3.A75S85 1993 | Dewey Decimal 346.730332
Medical malpractice suits today can result in multi-million-dollar settlements, and a practicing physician can pay $100,000 or more annually for malpractice insurance. Some complain that lawyers and plaintiffs are overcompensated by exorbitant judgments that add to the rising cost of health care. But there has been very little evidence to show whether these arguments are true. In this timely work, six experts in health policy, law, and medicine study nearly 200 malpractice claims to show that, contrary to popular perceptions, victims of malpractice are not overcompensated and our legal system for dealing with malpractice claims is not defective.
The authors survey claims filed in Florida between 1986 and 1989 by people who suffered permanent injury or death during birth or during treatment in an emergency room. How often did illegitimate claims result in financial awards? What was the relation between the injury and the amount the patient lost economically? How much did the plaintiffs actually recover? How did the claimants choose their lawyers and what kind of relationship did they have?
Contrary to common perceptions, in the majority of cases the claims were merited, and the authors found that claimants were on average substantially undercompensated—only about one-fifth of plaintiffs recovered more than their economic loss caused by injury or death. The evidence in this book suggests that placing dollar limits on malpractice cases is unjustified and that our tort system is not so faulty after all.