News of the Day ... in Perspective
“Malresult” insurance proposed for patients
“According to the AMA, 20 states now face a full-blown medical liability crisis. Data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows a 750% increase nationally in malpractice insurance premiums since 1975. For some specialists such as obstetricians, the annual insurance premium exceeds $200,000,” writes psychiatrist Thomas Szasz.
Szasz suggests that much of the responsibility for medical malresults should be placed where it belongs: on patients, who assume medical risk by seeking medical treatment. The possibility of a bad outcome exists even if the physician provides the best care possible.
Juries sympathize with those who have experienced a calamity, and tort law does not adequately distinguish between a medical “malresult” and bona fide medical negligence. If patients were expected to insure themselves against the former, physicians’ liability exposure would shrink to a fraction of its present dimensions. See www.reason.com/hod/ts011005.shtml.
Congressman Ron Paul, M.D., (R-TX) plans to introduce legislation on this topic later this year.