WV RMOn May 13, 2015, the Supreme Court of West Virginia (WV) ruled that patients who become addicted to prescription medications can sue doctors and pharmacies for addiction-related damages. This ruling may have significant implications for prescribers of medications with the potential for addiction, including emergency physicians.

Med-Mal-PrevDo you think our medical liability system has been broken for a while? If so, you’re not alone. And now, with the recent enactment of the Affordable Care Act, our resources are more limited, our decisions more scrutinized, and we’re going to have to do more with less. 

In the March issue, we asked EPM readers to weigh in on the scenario below, answering the question, “Did the physician meet the standard of care?” We received 186 detailed responses. William Sullivan, DO, JD offers a final case analysis.

Traffic was light on your way to work, so with five extra minutes before the start of your shift, you stop by your mailbox. Along with some articles from drug reps and the hospital newsletter you find a letter with a return address to a law firm. Thinking, “This can never be a good thing,” you open the letter only to discover that you’ve been subpoenaed to testify in an upcoming case regarding the injuries Ms. Smith...

Anyone who has ever been served a malpractice claim knows how very frightening the experience can be. From that moment you suffer enormous anxiety until, and even beyond, the ultimate resolution of your case. When a subpoena strikes, many people wish they had a lawyer in the family, but few are so fortunate. However, there is one way that every physician can be armed in advance for what these days is an almost inevitable experience: Get a map.

Talking about your med-mal case may make you feel better, but when is it safe?
by Maxwell S. Kennerly, Esq.
Author of the Blog “Litigation and Trial”

by “WhiteCoat”
Author of EPM’s blog “WhiteCoat’s Call Room”
What do most of the health care reform bills have in common? Amongst other things, they use Medicaid as a tool for expansion of coverage. And this could be their fatal flaw, which if enacted, will cause the reformed system to come crashing down.
Emergency physicians discuss end-of-life care

Grandma's Chocolate Cake  –Ilene Brenner, MD

Pneumonia, the friend of the aged  –Alan Jon Smally, MD

My possible future self... –Gary M. Gaddis, MD, PhD

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