A message to the doctors and lawyers…

The topic of malpractice damage caps came up in a conversation with my mother last night. I intended to explain this issue in a blog post today. I want to show that it is relevant to medical errors, but I feel it is too often used as a way to distract from the real issue of medical errors. But after sitting here at my desk for about three hours getting my resources together, I am far too angry to write a rational piece. So instead I have composed a letter to the doctors and lawyers:

 

To doctors: Injure and kill fewer people.

To the lawyers: Make litigation less expensive and compensation more efficient.

I don’t know how to make this happen. But I believe that you—the physicians and lawyers—do know how to make this happen.

I do believe that somewhere within your professional communities there are some very intelligent and caring people who can work together to address the issues of medical errors and fairly compensating victims of medical errors.

But do you want it to happen? I mean really want this to happen? Because I suspect that it would require some rather uncomfortable changes in how members of your professions go about their work. Changes in how they interact with each other and the organizations they are in. Changes in how they interact with patients and clients.

Who is willing to step up to the task? And who would rather keep shouting the rhetoric that distracts from the real problem?

But I realize that if you—the physicians and lawyers—are not willing to step up to the task, it is we the people who suffer. Not you.

When members of two of the most powerful professions have lost touch with the people they are supposed to be serving, it is time for something to change.

Who will lead?

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