Medical Errors Caused by Doctor Behavior

In today's NY Times there is an article concerning doctor's behavior and medical errors that can lead to medical malpractice. There are some astonishing stories in the article, but unfortunately they are all too familiar to attorneys who regularly represent victims of medical negligence. The headline of the article refers to physician behavior that can be both arrogant and abusive. Physician behavior is blamed for low morale and high turnover among hospital staff. Most importantly poor behavior and attitudes of doctors often lead to medical mistakes causing serious harm and sometimes even death to patients.

The most troubling aspect of all of this is that outside of bringing a medical malpractice suit there is little that can be done. Unlike attorneys, doctors and physicians do not have ethical boards that can receive complaints of improper behavior of doctors. Some states have medical boards but they are often understaffed and underfunded and can do little about the underlying problem. Unfortunately medical malpractice law suits are often too expensive to pursue even though the wrong doing of the doctor is obvious but the harm caused does not rise to the level of bringing a law suit that may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses before a jury ever sees the case. We are grateful to the NY Times for running this article and are hopeful that more public scrutiny may cause the medical profession to improve its ability to police itself and get rid of those doctors who should not be practicing medicine.

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