purchase, george & murphey.

purchase, george & murphey.


Erie Medical Malpractice Lawyers The Medical Malpratice Myth

October 23, 2010

October 24, 2010, ERIE, PA — Tom Baker’s “The Medical Malpractice Myth” is a book I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in tort reform. Baker, a professor of law and health science at Penn and a sought after consultant to insurance companies, has assembled an eminently readable and entirely empirical deconstruction of the false assumptions relied upon by those who would deny innocent injured people compensation in the name of “tort reform.”

In each chapter, Baker capably refutes myths and establishes truths that must be faced if we are to understand the real problems facing health care in America, including:

* There is no “epidemic” of medical malpractice lawsuits but there is a massive amount of medical negligence that kills and injures innocent Americans every year;

* Medical malpractice insurance premiums are driven by a well-known “boom and bust” cycle in the insurance industry, not by malpractice lawsuits or verdicts;

* Patients who sue almost always have good reason to do so, either because they’ve been injured by medical carelessness or because a lawsuit is the only way the patient or surviving family can get answers;

* Insurance companies do not pay frivolous claims and juries do not reward frivolous lawsuits. On the contrary, insurance companies and doctors routinely fight legitimate lawsuits and thereby drive costs that could be avoided by honesty;

* The research shows that medical malpractice lawsuits actually do far more good than harm; they are the only reason we know anything about the extent of medical malpractice in America; they improve patient safety; and they promote traditional American values like justice, responsibility and freedom from intrusive governmental regulation; and

* Fear of lawsuits has not caused a spike in “defensive medicine.” On the contrary, there is no reliable research that suggests that there is any meaningful “defensive medicine” occurring in the United States.

As an Erie medical malpractice lawyer, the book was a welcome relief from the hysteria and hype perpetuated by the tort reform movement. If more people took the time to read the empirical data and understand the true nature of the problems facing patients in the American health care system, they’d understand that medical malpractice lawsuits have almost no impact on health care costs but are the only means by which innocent people who’ve been tragically injured or killed by medical mistakes can ever obtain any measure of justice and they are the only mechanism by which we can improve medical care for ourselves and our family members.