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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Taking On The Medical Malpractice Myths

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Michael Kaplen, at the Brain Injury News and Information Blog, posts an excellent article, Patient Rights: Exposing the Myths Surrounding Medical Malpractice. I hope Michael will understand why I feel the need to publish so many excerpts below.

In a new book entitled, The Medical Malpractice Myth,Tom Baker, Connecticut Mutual Professor of Law and director of the Insurance Center at the University of Connecticut, uses empirical evidence to dismantle the myths that permeate the national debate over medical malpractice and liability insurance costs.

Baker, who spoke yesterday at a briefing for congressional staff on medical malpractice, writes that the real problem is too much medical malpractice, not too much litigation. Most people do not sue, which means that victims – not doctors, hospitals, or liability insurance companies – bear the lion’s share of the costs of medical malpractice

Here are some of Baker’s Key Findings:

Medical errors kill up to 100,000 Americans each year. (p. 9)

1 in every 100 hospitalized patients becomes a victim of negligent care. (p.29)

Medical malpractice premiums account for less than 1 percent of all heath care spending. (p.9)

The tort system has “little or nothing to due” with the fluctuations in insurance premiums. (p.45)

“All the research that has been done so far points in the same direction: tort reform does not improve hearth-care outcomes” (p. 148)

Less than 3% of malpractice victims file suit. (p.63)

“Research clearly rejects the claim that most medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous.: (p. 86)

“Defensive medicine is a trumped up charge.” (p.155)