Admitting Medical Errors
side note: We posted a New York Times article last week about how our healthcare system breeds waste. Here is a letter to the NYtimes Editor from David Leonhardt, a medical malpractice attorney. There are often many sides to a story, so it’s nice to get a clear idea of what each side is saying.
New York Times
To the Editor:
Re “A System Breeding More Waste,” by David Leonhardt (Economic Scene, Sept. 23):
Thanks to Mr. Leonhardt for presenting a balanced view of medical malpractice. I have been a medical malpractice attorney on both sides of the bar for 25 years. Yes, there are many frivolous suits that understandably affect the morale of doctors and result in defensive medicine. On the other hand, there are many frivolous defenses that affect the morale of injured litigants and result in unnecessary defense litigation costs.
Early settlement of indefensible cases is rare. In my experience, one-third of the approximately 1,000 cases I handled as a defense attorney were clear malpractice. Yet only one doctor ever admitted that he was negligent and caused injury to his patient.