Med: Quick Reply

January 14, 2008

Just wanted to post another quick followup to the article we are discussing. If you missed it, check out the two posts below and this article here:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/01/09/ep.suing.docs/index.html

After reading Clegal’s post, I realized that I misrepresented my own opinion on the involved lawyers. What I seemed to imply (shady self-serving lawyers not interested in low-yield cases) is not truly what I meant (No one in their right mind would take that case knowing that it wasn’t a sure-fire victory especially given the low potential payoff).

Clegal called me on it–and rightfully so. It would take an awfully altruistic lawyer to take this case simply to make a point about the screwed up nature of our malpractice system. My problem is with the system–and not really with the lawyers just trying to make a living–and I shall make that more evident in the future–with the caveat that any of our readers that know me probably see the sarcasm in my words when I seem to blatantly blame lawyers). 🙂

I also wanted to point out one more interesting point made in the article. It’s probably what is keeping her from actually filing a lawsuit, and it’s a gray area in ALL of malpractice–what is “negligence” and what is an “understandable mistake.” Once again from the CNN page:

Grant says the complication that caused all these problems — the nicking of a ureter — would most likely be considered a regular complication of the surgery, and not negligence. This means that even though Christine has clearly suffered, she wouldn’t have a case. “Just because you have a bad outcome doesn’t mean you can sue,” he says.

I think that is a subtle point glossed over in malpractice discussions.

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