Medical profession needs tort reform
I am writing in response to the Another Voice in The News on July 27 from Dr. Matthew J. Phillips. I am one of the patients he mentions who will probably pay the price because of out-of-control lawsuits. I have multiple medical problems that make me a less-than-desirable patient when surgery is being considered. Gratefully there are still surgeons who are willing to help me.
When judges and juries award millions to patients who think they have not received the outcome they desired, they do an injustice to everyone concerned. Frequently patients have an unrealistic picture of the results they will have. Through no fault of the doctor, sometimes not everything goes according to plan.
When the public is constantly bombarded with ads from lawyers telling them that if everything is not to their liking the answer is to sue, they feel they are entitled to do so and also entitled to a large payout. I believe everyone knows I am not referring to any legitimate case where malpractice has occurred.
I am a member (although no longer working) of the medical community, as I was a practicing nurse for some time. I am well aware of the fact that mistakes can happen and results can be less than optimal, but I am also aware that most physicians work enormously hard to achieve the best possible results for their patients.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am also a patient of Phillips and am very glad he does still take on the difficult cases. I sincerely hope that the legal reforms that are needed to get this in control will happen in my lifetime.