Lies, Damn Lies and Medical Malpractice Reform

Tennessee consumers injured by medical negligence are facing a full assault on their right to trial by jury.  Some members of the new General Assembly seem hell-bent on placing arbitrary caps on damages, notwithstanding the fact that medical malpractice lawsuits are down over 40% and malpractice insurer profits are soaring.

Max Kennerly, one of my favorite bloggers, has a great post on similar efforts in Congress.   Here is an excerpt:

Even if we put aside the fact that, for every dollar spent on compensating the victims of medical negligence, more than $5 dollars in damage was caused by medical negligence, it bears repeating that the overall costs of compensating injured patients is so small that it the medical malpractice liability system does not restrict access to health care. Similarly, malpractice lawsuits have not been shown to change of physician behavior — so-called “defense medicine” — even in high-risk, high-liability cases like obstetricians’ decisions to perform c-sections when the baby shows signs of fetal distress.

Read the entire post to learn how one Congressman from Georgia misquotes a respected report to advance his effort to protect hospitals and doctors from responsibility for their errors.

Great job, Max.