Malpractice Reform: New England Journal of Medicine

It kills me how so many folks hold up the New England Journal of Medicine as the gold standard for anything and everything until it speaks up about preemption or medical malpractice reform. Then they become hacks for… well, nobody, really. Just hacks.

The NEJM put out a new article that looked at traditional malpractice tort reform:malpractice 7

Our review yielded two main conclusions. First, evaluations of traditional tort reforms have remained heavily focused on metrics related to liability costs, with most care-related measures receiving relatively short shrift. Second, the evidence reveals that, with few exceptions, traditional tort reforms have not proved to provide many improvements in these liability metrics.

So we have decided as a society in many jurisdictions, including Maryland, to limit how its citizen juries can award and deprive malpractice victims in some cases what we would all agree to be the fair value of the injuries or death because the true value of the case exceeds the malpractice cap. Oh, yeah, we also look the other way on the Constitution’s due process and equal protection requirements.

Let’s assume it’s cool to trample on the Constitution and our most vulnerable for a good cause. What kind of bang for our buck are we getting? Not many improvements?

Essentially, tort reform is the guy who is doing 30-to-life for killing someone with $20 in their pocket, during a robbery.

If you think I’m quoting the article out of context, go read the whole thing.

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