Health Care

Doctors Ordering Medical Tests to Prevent Malpractice Lawsuits

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So why did your doctor order those tests? Because you should have them to find out what is wrong with you? What if you found out you endured the latest fun little medical procedure because your doctor was concerned about a malpractice lawsuit? Well, gee, thanks for the assumption that I am ready to sue you and for making me undergo another medical adventure?

Okay, so apparently this is a bigger concern for ER doctors, but the point is valid. I want to only have the medical procedures that I need. Believe me, the last thing I need are any more medical adventures due to fears of malpractice. My body is forcing me to have enough medical adventures on its own.

Yes, we do live in a litigious (now that's a big word early in the day) society where too many are quick to hop on the lawsuit bus because they don't like something. I know someone who is always ready to sue - their neighbors because they took down some trees, etc. You get the picture. What is the point of this? Besides creating enemies in the people you sue and making a bunch of lawyers rich? There is no point. I know lawyers who think these lawsuits are just as stupid.

I am not saying that sometimes a lawsuit is necessary and medical mistakes don't happen. Doctors and nurses are people too. And who said 'to err is human'? So what if you went for kidney surgery and they took out the wrong one, changing your life forever? Its not something that can be undone. Maybe you can't work again and will be facing huge medical bills the rest of your life. Would a lawsuit allow you some financial award so that you can have some quality of life? Perhaps.

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Doctors also have malpractice insurance, so it's not that they are paying you out of their pockets. Unfortunately it is my understanding that malpractice premiums are incredibly high and force some doctors to alter their practice or stop practicing altogether. Too many times, a patient or their family decides they didn't like the results of the doctor's treatment and then sue.

Excuse me, but there are no guarantees in medicine. The human body is not a machine, each one is unique and reacts differently to treatments. They treat you as best they can and hope for the best outcome possible. A good doctor will tell you about side effects and risks to any procedure, and take the time to answer your questions about options. Ask questions and understand the risks. And then don't blame the doctor if you experience the 1% risk.

I think this is another area that needs to be addressed in health care reform. If we are reforming the system in the US and one of the goals is to provide access to medical care and make it more affordable, we should not be forcing doctors out of the profession or force them to carry crippling malpractice insurance.

Today I am off to work again. I am spoiled with my schedule. This week, horror of all horrors, I have to work two days in a row. All day. Tomorrow I will 'work' from home again. There is no sign of my missing cards. I hoped that because I ordered a new Amex card, I would immediately find both of the missing ones. No such luck. I'll go get a new debit card today.