Tag Archives: Cancer Misdiagnosis

No Surprise: Hospital Refuses To Apologize To Pediatrician For Obstetrical Malpractice

Tricia Pil, M.D., is a pediatrician and a mother, with a terrible story to tell at Kevin, M.D.: This is the true story of a hospitalization as told from three points of view: first, the recollections of the patient (who happens to be a physician); second, events as recorded in the medical charts by doctors and nurses; and third, the version put forth by the hospital. FRIDAY Patient: It is fall 2005, and I am nine months pregnant. A healthy 33-year-old pediatrician, I am a longtime patient of Doctor A and Doctor B, who delivered my two young children at ... Continue Reading

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Texas Lowers The Medical Malpractice Bar Again, Tries To Imprison Nurses For Reporting Dangerous Doctor

All the signs were there: [Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr. had] a pattern of improper prescribing and surgical procedures — including a failed skin graft that Dr. Arafiles performed in the emergency room, without surgical privileges. He also sutured a rubber tip to a patient’s crushed finger for protection, an unconventional remedy that was later flagged as inappropriate by the Texas Department of State Health Services. ... Dr. Arafiles was sending e-mail messages to patients about an herbal supplement he sold on the side. ... The hospital administrator, Stan Wiley, said in an interview that Dr. Arafiles had been reprimanded ... Continue Reading

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Medical Malpractice “Demonstration Programs” In The Senate’s Health Care Reform Bill

Overlawyered passes along a misleading description of the "tort reform" provisions in the Senate health care bill from an anonymous Capitol Hill source: The “tort reform” section of Senator Reid’s substitute amendment is not merely meaningless, but is actually a significant giveaway to the trial lawyers. It is essentially a 5-year, 50-million dollar grant program to encourage states to develop more plaintiff-friendly alternatives to the current medical liability system. Section 10607 (p.344 of the Manager’s) establishes a 5-year grant program. The program is administered by the HHS Secretary (Sebelius), in consultation with a review panel. The review panel is structured ... Continue Reading

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A Game Theory Model of Medical Malpractice Settlements and Insurance Bad Faith

In a comment on Overlawyered, Ted Frank points to his draft paper (with Marie Gryphon), Negotiating in the Shadow of 'Bad Faith' Refusal to Settle: A Game Theory Model of Medical Malpractice Pre-Trial Settlements and Insurance Limits: Recent empirical studies of Texas data by Hyman et al, Zeiler et al, and Silver et al suggest that insurance limits affect settlements of medical malpractice cases. Writing separately, Silver argues that insurance limits act as a de facto cap on malpractice payouts, that plaintiffs are being underpaid as a result, and that therefore legislative caps on damages are unnecessary. But this hypothesis is ... Continue Reading

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Don’t Believe The Hype: A Recent Study Did Not Show 83% Of Americans Support Medical Malpractice Tort Reform

Philip K. Howard, whose nonsense medical malpractice "health courts" idea I've panned before, is back pushing more hooey from two insurance and corporate front groups, Common Good and the Committee for Economic Development: Because modern medicine is so complex, reliability almost certainly requires some kind of special court.  This country has a long history of such courts, such as bankruptcy courts, and it's hard to imagine an area of society in greater need of special judicial expertise than health-care.  That's why a broad coalition has come out for pilot projects--including AARP, the AMA, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ... Continue Reading

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“How Other Countries Judge [Medical] Malpractice,” By A Law Professor Who Doesn’t Know Medical Malpractice Law

Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago published an opinion piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal on medical malpractice. "Embarrassingly ignorant" would be a charitable description. Eric Turkewitz calls it "flat out false." How bad was it? Turkewitz caught two outright falsehoods: American courts commonly think it proper for juries to infer medical negligence from the mere occurrence of a serious injury. and American plaintiffs are sometimes spared the heavy burden of identifying particular acts of negligence, or of showing the precise causal connection between a negligent act and an actual injury. Neither of these are true, as described in ... Continue Reading

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Has Pennsylvania’s Medical Malpractice Reform Been A Failure? (Part 2 of 2)

Following up on yesterday’s discussion of an emergency physician’s critique of medical malpractice reform in Pennsylvania, in which the physician claimed, without any evidence, that the number of defendants in malpractice cases has risen recently, negating many of the benefits of malpractice reform. Put simply, he missed the boat. The number of defendants does not have much to do with the premiums by healthcare providers. It is just not an issue. Three of the primary reforms of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act of March 20, 2002, however, did have a substantial impact on medical malpractice ... Continue Reading

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Has Pennsylvania’s Medical Malpractice Reform Been A Failure? (Part 1 of 2)

WhiteCoat (and later Walter Olson) directed me to this op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette by Gerald F. O’Malley, a Philadelphia-based emergency physician: ... Governor Rendell recently declared that Pennsylvania's malpractice lawsuit abuse crisis is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rendell's announcement comes on the heels of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's annual Malpractice Filings Report, but the court's numbers tell only a part of the story. The Court reports only the number of cases filed -- not the number of litigants within those cases. Most cases of alleged medical malpractice include multiple defendants as personal injury lawyers ... Continue Reading

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A Dialogue With An Emergency Physician About Health Care Reform

Not too long ago, I believe at the recommendation of Walter Olson at Overlawyered, I started reading WhiteCoat Rants (renamed WhiteCoat's Call Room when he moved to Emergency Physicians Monthly), an anonymous blog authored by a voluble ED doctor. I have over 300 feeds in my Google Reader, including venture capitalists, scientists, professors, economists, security professionals, and ship captains, and while I frequently read Grand Rounds, I didn't regularly follow many practicing physicians. So, what the heck. I didn't expect to comment or to debate, just get another perspective. I have my own blog in part to channel the temptation to respond when Someone ... Continue Reading

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Another Mangled Prescription for Health Courts to Evaluate Medical Malpractice Claims

The WSJ Law Blog points us to an Op-Ed in the NYTimes: Restoring a foundation of trust requires a new system of medical justice. Medical cases are now decided jury by jury, without consistent application of medical standards. According to a 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, around 25 percent of cases where there was no identifiable error resulted in malpractice payments. Nor is the system effective for injured patients — according to the same study, 54 cents of every dollar paid in malpractice cases goes to administrative expenses like lawyers, experts and courts. America needs special health ... Continue Reading

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