Thursday, 12 April 2007

Can doctors say "I'm Sorry?"

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As Bethany posted on last night, some states are considering easing restrictions on what doctors can say to patients without being sued into oblivion. How about you -- do you implicitly trust your doctor? Physicians are human beings and sometimes make mistakes, a fact that attorneys partially clue in on when those larger mistakes happen that end up in a patient's death or disability.

The only difference here is that mistakes made on people are seen as of the highest caliber imaginable. But, as I said before, doctors are humans too. Everyone makes mistakes (some of us many of them every day), right? If engineers made quite a few mistakes, airplanes would fall out of the sky daily. If doctors made many mistakes, patients would die daily in alarming numbers. Are they? Well, you do your own homework on that one, but I think not.

What about more common mistakes? The days of supreme ego from the established doctor should be a thing of the past these days, where a solid line of communication between doctor and patient should exist. Some states are suggesting that approach more and more, it appears. For fear of lawsuits and rising costs in malpractice insurance (which are already sky-high), can a doctor say anything about possible fault without landing in court? That is what some states want, and maybe it should be applauded.

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