“None of the death certificates in these cases list ‘Fear of Being Sued’ as the cause of death.” ["Birdstrike" at White Coat, EP Monthly] “Defensive medicine is rooted in the goal of avoiding mistakes. But each additional procedure or test, no matter how cautiously performed, injects a fresh possibility of error” as well as non-erroneous harm. [Sanjay Gupta, NYT] The Gupta column drew adverse comment from plaintiff’s bloggers (and occasional Overlawyered commenters) Eric Turkewitz and Max Kennerly.
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.
“Nearly 35 percent of all the imaging costs ordered for 2,068 orthopaedic patient encounters in Pennsylvania were ordered for defensive purposes, according to a new study presented today at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).” [AAOS, ABA Journal, Frank]
Related: David Freddoso, “Trial lawyers release malpractice primer.“
Like others who’ve looked at the question of how to close the federal government’s vast budget deficit, it finds promise in the idea of curbing liability payouts and defensive medicine. Trial lawyers are vowing to fight. [National Law Journal, Point of Law]
Among its other proposals, it’s calling for medical malpractice reform to “pay lawyers less and reduce defensive medicine.” [Reuters]
Few of our readers will be surprised at the new survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, but since some in the litigation lobby seem to go on denying the reality of defensive medicine problem year in and year out, it’s probably useful to keep piling on the evidence. [AP/WaPo]
“A substantial number of heart doctors — about one in four — say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued, according to a new study,” reports the Associated Press. The study appeared in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. More: WSJ Health Blog.