The Congressional Budget Office has determined that limiting the rights of malpractice victims would only result in three tenths of one percent savings in medical cost. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-malpractice10-2009oct10,0,4877440.story
Is that small saving worth sacrificing a fundamental American value? The overwhelming majority of malpractice verdicts are based upon “never events” – medical errors which the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation say are inexcusable. http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2920. These errors include operating on the wrong limb, leaving a sponge or medical instrument in the patient following surgery, leaving an incapacitated patient unattended, prescribing or administering the wrong medication. These are not matters of defensive medicine but rather simple negligence.
Our system of justice strives to make the one who caused the injury responsible for the consequences. Forcing the victim of a “never event” to shoulder a major portion of the loss would slightly reduce the cost of medical care but it would violate our dedication to personal responsibility.
Cumberland School of Law, Cum Laude graduate Peter F. Burns practice areas include business litigation will contests, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and other matters of complex civil litigation. Mr. Burns is licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court and is a Certified Alabama Mediator; Board-Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, and a member of national and state Legal associations.