Defensive Medicine

An emergency room doctor admits to performing unnecessary tests to avoid malpractice lawsuits:

In my personal practice, if I knew that I couldn’t be sued except for things that I truly believe I should get sued over, I could eliminate half of my lab tests, two-thirds of my X-rays and 90 percent of my CT scans because all of those tests are done for my protection, not the patient’s.medicalmalpractice

In other words, this doctor admits to ordering tests that can harm and cause risk to a patient – as CT scans and x-rays certainly do – for his own protection to avoid a malpractice lawsuit for which he has insurance.

I’m not sure what is more depressing, the fact that the doctor blithely admits this to a reporter thinking it is an acceptable medical practice to put his own interest ahead of the patient or the fact that there will be no ramifications for this doctor. If a lawyer or an accountant made the same admission – that he/she put their interests first ahead of their clients – the Internet would explode.

Thankfully, the vast majority of doctors put their patients first.

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