MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: AN OVERVIEW
Doctors and health care providers provide medical services to ill and injured person. It is their profession to provide health care. Their services should be within the professional standard. However, in a case, where an act or omission by a health care provider caused injury and death to any patient, and where the services provided by the health care provider was below the accepted standard of practice. Most of the medical malpractice cases involve medical error (Anderson, 2005).
During the ‘50s and the first part of ‘60s, doctor’s liability, as measured by the frequency of malpractice suits, chances of losing such suits, and also the average size of awards for lost suits, was comparativelylow and exhibited very little. For instance, throughout the ‘50s and early ‘60s claim frequency remained stable at concerning 1.6 claims per hundred physicians. By 1968, however, claim frequency had been increased to 76%. Overall from the mid ‘60s to the mid ‘80s, claim frequency rose, on a median annual basis, approximately 7% to 10%. Even more dramatic, typical size of malpractice awards rose over a constant time at average annual rates of from ten to fourteen percent. Chances of doctor’s loss inmalpractice suits likewise rose over at same time from 25% in the mid ‘60s to concerning 50% within themid ‘80s (Lakdawalla & Seabury, 2012).
Olsen, however, has shown that the argument supporting malpractice reform is not perfect. As mentioned above, there is little doubt that doctor’s liability for medical malpractice has increased dramatically over largely of the past three decades. However, contrary to widespread belief, doctor’s liability has not traditionally been stable within the U.S. Rather, it’s increased at important rates throughout the U.S. history. Claims per doctor, as an example, have been increased at a rate of 2% annually during 1830-1955, with a maximum increase of 12% annually during some decades. Obtainableknowledge conjointly indicates that an important increase within the average size of malpractice awards from the first 1800s to the 1950s, particularly once adjusting for inflation, are like the trend within the past thirty years (Baicker & Chandra, 2005).
An increment in doctor’s liability for medical malpractice is not a recent development. It does not essentially indicate that medical malpractice reform is unwarranted. The likelihood exists that medical malpractice has been in want of reform for most of the history of the U.S. Long-term increase in doctor’s liability do function as a warning that any thought ought to be taken before proposing or enacting such reforms (Kessler, Summerton, & Graham, 2006). In that light, the most fruitful approach to the problemof medical malpractice is to raise underneath what conditions magnified doctor’s liability would be economical and to then verify whether or not such conditions square measure driving recent, and historical, will increase in doctor’s liability. In such cases, the argument in favor of medical malpractice reform can be seriously weakened.
Anderson, R. E. (2005). Medical malpractice: A physician’s sourcebook. Medical Malpractice: A
Physician’s Sourcebook. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59259-845-8
Baicker, K., & Chandra, A. (2005). The Effect of Malpractice Liability on the Delivery of Health Care. Frontiers in Health Policy Research, 8(4), 1–27. https://doi.org/10.2202/1558-9544.1010
Kessler, D. P., Summerton, N., & Graham, J. R. (2006). Effects of the medical liability system in Australia, the UK, and the USA. Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69045-4
Lakdawalla, D. N., & Seabury, S. A. (2012). The welfare effects of medical malpractice liability. International Review of Law and Economics, 32(4), 356–369.