Let Them Sue

Let Them Sue

THE SOURCE: “Doctors and Juries” by Philip G. Peters Jr., in Michigan Law Review, May 2007.

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Despite doctors’ loud complaints about medical malpractice suits, there is little evidence that juries are awarding unjustified bonanzas to lawsuit-happy patients. If anything, jurors have a slight bias in favor of doctors, even when they are negligent, writes University of Missouri, Columbia, law professor Philip G. Peters Jr.

Nevertheless, Congress is again considering legislation to experiment with “health courts” staffed by judges with health expertise and intended to eliminate irrational and unjust verdicts. Such verdicts are thought to contribute to the high cost of medical care by forcing doctors to pay expensive malpractice insurance premiums and to practice defensive medicine by ordering extra tests and procedures to protect themselves in the event of a suit.

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