Dangerous doctors operating on patients, hospitals that look the other way and a string of dead and injured victims. It sounds like an episode of a day time soap opera. Unfortunately for residents of Texas this is their reality thanks to a decade-long Texas medical malpractice reform movement. In Texas it is extremely difficult to use the courts to hold a hospital accountable for allowing a dangerous doctor to operate. Due to the medical malpractice reform laws, victims must now prove that doctors consciously disregarded the need to use reasonable care, knowing full well that their actions were likely to cause serious injury.
“These malpractice reforms have been said to provide virtual immunity against lawsuits,” said Waxman, who also is an emergency medicine physician at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The New England Journal of Medicine has released a new study that suggests changing laws to make it more difficult to sue physicians for medical malpractice may not reduce the amount of “defensive medicine” practiced by physicians.
Studying the behavior of emergency physicians in three states that raised the standard for malpractice in the emergency room to gross negligence, researchers found that strong new legal protections did not translate into less-expensive care.
As experienced Virginia (VA) medical malpractice attorneys we know that tort reform is a tool for big insurance companies and hospitals to avoid the responsibility of compensating victims that have been harmed by negligence.