Medical Malpractice Problems in Florida.

Essay by valid422University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Medical Malpractice insurance covers doctors and other healthcare professionals for liability claims arising from their treatment of patients. The insurance companies of medical malpractice are charged on two different accounts: non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, humiliation, shame, inconvenience and hurt feelings; and economic damages, which are damages "verifiable monetary losses incurred" by the victims of malpractice (Law 1). Within those lines fall medical expenses and loss of wages. There is no way yet to accurately measure the cost of inconvenience. Those against malpractice lawsuits believe that trial lawyers "seek to find the least knowledgeable group of people available to act as jurors, overwhelm them with confusing and incomprehensible medical evidence, inflame them with accounts of the plaintiff's suffering and then demand substantial payments from defendants invariably portrayed as wealthy and uncaring" (Law 2). With Florida being one of the twelve states without an economic damage cap, the crisis will lead to deterioration of patient access to medical care due to physicians not performing high risk procedures, physicians retiring early from practicing medicine, and the overall reduction of quality health care.

A limit would allow for doctors to be able to afford malpractice insurance along with a competition of what company will carry their insurance.

Throughout history, medical malpractice has been an issue prevailing in the 1950's. The awareness was dramatically increased when a popular magazine called the Saturday Evening Post printed a series of articles entitled "Medicine's Legal Nightmare" in 1959" (Medical 4). As more citizens began to file malpractice lawsuits during the 1960's and 1970's, doctors went out and got malpractice insurance to protect themselves against any threat of an expensive lawsuit. As a result of the demand for malpractice insurance, premiums greatly rose for "hospitals by 263%; for physicians they increased 541%; and for surgeons, they...