Posted 11/13/13 by Common Good
More support builds for health courts
We're thrilled to see more and more enthusiasm behind the idea of specialized health courts, where patients and doctors can get more reliable medical justice without the fear, uncertainty, and frequent mistakes of the current malpractice system. This report from the Center for Health Affairs notes that, "By serving as a centralized, standardized repository for medical liability claims information, health courts would allow the root causes of medical errors to be studied." The report also observes the widespread bipartisan support for health courts, which have been endorsed by Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and a plethora of bipartisan deficit reduction committees.
Common Good Chair Philip K. Howard recently joined the medical news organization Medscape for an interview on the benefits of health courts. Howard notes that the current system "is rife with error in both directions; sometimes it favors the doctors who did something wrong and often it favors an injured patient even when the doctor did nothing wrong, particularly in tragic cases." The prevalence of legal fear means that "physicians and nurses are...trained not to speak up when they see something in their peripheral vision that they are not sure is right, because they might be taking legal responsibility."