Missouri Malpractice Attorney

Written by Sarah Provost
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With the recent rise in medical malpractice lawsuits and the corresponding escalation of the cost of malpractice insurance, lawyers and doctors across the nation are at each other's throats. Doctors and hospital administrators feel that too many frivolous malpractice suits are being brought to trial, and are fighting back with highly controversial tactics. A three-pronged attack is being advocated by some medical practitioners

Doctors Fighting Lawyers on Malpractice Issues

The first, and most hotly debated, tactic is to refuse to treat lawyers who specialize in medical malpractice, or any members of their family, except in cases of emergency. Some of the more extreme doctors are refusing to see any lawyer for elective treatment, claiming that their Hippocratic oath only applies to emergency situations, and that doctors have the right to refuse to accept a patient whose condition isn't life-threatening. Those lawyers who oppose caps on malpractice damages are especially targeted.

The second tactic is to make it as difficult as possible for lawyers to find expert witnesses to testify for plaintiffs. Some hospitals are revising their code of ethics to specify that their doctors are forbidden to testify except on behalf of the hospital. Since many states, including Missouri, require expert testimony to even consider a malpractice suit, this tactic could effectively shut down the process.

A doctor in Texas set up a website providing a database of all patients who had brought malpractice suits in the past. The avowed purpose was to identify people who brought frivolous lawsuits, but the site effectively functioned as a blacklist. It was shut down in March, 2004. In the long run, it is only fair that the medical community be held responsible for malpractice. Patients' rights need to be protected, and that is the true purpose of legitimate malpractice suits.


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