“More risk of getting sued…”

by Walter Olson on May 19, 2011

Some Florida ob-gyns turn away seriously overweight patients, who face a greater risk of complications in pregnancy [Sun-Sentinel/Palm Beach Post] More: White Coat.

{ 4 comments }

1 John A 05.19.11 at 2:48 pm

Well, if they feel they are not very good at handling complications perhaps it is just as well they try to avoid them.

2 No Name Guy 05.19.11 at 4:32 pm

Actually John A, it’s not so much a question of if they (the Doctors) can or can’t handle the complications, its that WHEN there are bad outcomes (and there will be), even if there was 100% perfect care on the part of the medical team, they’ll be sued with an unreasonably high likelihood of losing. And even if the medical team doesn’t lose, they lose – lots of sleep, the extra stress, the being taken away from caring for their other patients, the defense costs, etc. Therefore, the logical step to take if you don’t want to be sued is to minimize or eliminate your list of patients that have a higher than average risk of bad outcomes. Incentives matter, plain and simple.

Now, as a matter of policy, is this what we as a society should be encouraging with the current state of legal / tort climate? I would argue, no. I’d argue that in fact, those that have a higher risk of complications are the ones MOST in need of care. Yet, the current legal system is discouraging medical professionals from helping those most in need with the formula that Bad Outcome = Medical Malpractice even if Bad Outcome would have happened no matter how well the medical care was delivered.

3 Smart Dude 05.20.11 at 12:03 am

The OB-GYNs are simply trying to survive in the worst Trial Lawyer Industry state in the union. It is the equivalent of a company desparately struggling to stay afloat in California, the most anti-business state in the union.

Obese women ARE high risk. And it is all about avoiding risk if you want to keep your practice going one more day.

4 Smart Dude 05.20.11 at 12:12 am

I almost forgot!

Florida is the state where you lose your licence after three malpractice suit losses!

No wonder the doctors there don’t do high risk.

Comments on this entry are closed.