Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why Doctors Should Sue Their Patients

“Maybe doctors could get the Democrats to like them if they started suing their patients.”
-Ann Coulter


Imagine the possibilities:

A patient gets sick at 2AM, and a call to the physician's home deprives him of much-needed sleep, causing him to have a car accident as he drives to the hospital – clearly the patient should get sick during regular business hours.

A physician spills hot coffee on himself and suffers second-degree burns as he tries to stay awake treating the ill patient – clearly it was the patient’s fault.

A patient develops renal insufficiency while taking either an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), thereby destroying the physician’s perfect record of providing appropriate therapy for left ventricular systolic dysfunction thereby negatively affecting his PQRI Measurement Score - leading to lost revenues.

A doctor inserts an emergency intravenous catheter into a car crash victim and the woman dies. Because the doctor was one of a number of physicians named in a medical malpractice suit alleging that he should have "appreciate[d] the signs and symptoms of hypovolemic shock and internal bleeding" and that he should have "surgically repair[ed] the bleeding" be must now list the filing anytime he applies for medical liability insurance for the rest of his career - how much damage is that?
* * *

If this seems repugnant to you, consider how adverse the climate is for doctors facing these exposures every day. Even for the best doctors and the best hospitals, aspects of healthcare are an inherently unpredictable, uncontrollable enterprise.

If it seems absurd to insert the legal profession into defending doctors, perhaps it is equally absurd to invite the legal profession into any aspect of the doctor-patient relationship.

-Wes

h/t: KevinMD.

2 comments:

The Independent Urologist said...

Yeh, I read Ann Coulter's comments and I believe took them in the correct vain. I believe that she was merely pandering to her base--the republican base--namely doctors. Why doctors remain repuplicans is beyond me, since the demise of the physician has occurred mostly on republican watches; Nixon, Reagan, and Bush II.
Most doctors are unaware that under Bush II, medicare coffers were raided to fund the war. Did you know that?
Anyway, I found her statement ludicrous and nothing more than pandering for my vote.

Moof said...

If it seems absurd to insert the legal profession into defending doctors, perhaps it is equally absurd to invite the legal profession into any aspect of the doctor-patient relationship.

Dr. Wes, I agree with you. I think a lot of people don't appreciate just how much having the "legal profession" involved in "any aspect of the doctor-patient relationship" is costing everyone, either.

I've commented on this subject before.

I'm amazed that this post hasn't attracted the attention of certain trolls ... :o|