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Saturday, September 26, 2009

The definitive analysis of defensive medicine and the threat of a malpractice suit

This is a great write-up by an ER doctor explaining that there are a zillion reasons for practicing defensive medicine that having nothing to do with fear of a lawsuit. There are lots and lots of bad consequences for being wrong. The doctor has no choice but to do a fuzzy-logic calculation of probability of being wrong, the seriousness of the consequences to the patient of being wrong, and the cost of further action, be it hospitalization, a specialist or more tests.

For this reason the doctor doubts we will see any reduction in so-called defensive medicine by any efforts to reduce malpractice claims. Of course, this should be intuitively obvious, and he is no doubt correct. As definitive proof that he is correct, just consider the fact that Republicans, who these days are wrong about everything, would disagree with him. I'm sure Dr. Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Sean Hannity would disagree, and as night follows day, so would their audiences.

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