In the wake of skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance costs, the easy scapegoat in medical malpractice lawsuits is the trial lawyer. However, when medical professionals are given the opportunity to deter instances of medical errors, thus avoiding these lawsuits altogether, they place too little a burden on themselves.
For example, in Florida the state medical board issued guidelines that could lead to lower fines for doctors who commit their first error. The rules also don’t call for suspensions for surgeons that make a second mistake, as some in the profession suggested.
The tort reform argument made by these doctors might be slightly more legitimate if the doctors were interested in policing themselves–which, as these guidelines illustrate, they are not.
As a result, medical errors will likely not be decreased and lawsuits will continued to be filed as the only way those wronged by medical errors can achieve justice.
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