If it happens in Massachusetts, it could happen in Ohio.
Tort reform is something that has many people, including patients, doctors
and medical malpractice lawyers up in arms. It is unfair to the patient,
and not just unfair, it is unjust. The patient is penalized for a medical
professionals error that seriously harmed, or killed them. To this point,
the debate over what to do for patients that suffer at the hands of negligent
doctors, rages on, with a wide variety of ideas being thrown out for consideration.
Some states have come up with a partial and not completely just solution,
but many consider that to be a step in the right direction.
Massachusetts for instance has recently introduced a new law that may have
the potential to be implemented in other states, in other forms and other
incarnations. The law mandates that doctors are required to divulge their
mistakes, and promptly apologize to their patient. While that may sound
good, the not so good part is that by promptly saying they are sorry,
that admission of an error cannot be used against them in a medical negligence
lawsuit. Good news, bad news.
Of interest is the new law also has a provision that means defensive medicine
must be closely examined. Defensive medicine is the concept that doctors
go overboard and order excessive and unnecessary tests, so they can avoid
a potential lawsuit. That being said, even if some doctors do indulge
in this practice, if they are negligence in the face of too many tests,
then they are still negligent, and liable to face a lawsuit.
What are doctors thinking about the possibility of this new law? Some think
it is a good thing. Others are not so sure. Will
medical malpractice lawsuits decrease because of bills like this one, and others that are
similar? Not necessarily. The only thing that will decrease the number
of medical malpractice lawsuits is fewer instances of doctors committing