Archive for the ‘Trial’ Category

Professional Immunity

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Some parties against the institution of tort reform argue that fully or partially immunizing physicians from liability will encourage them to practice sloppy medicine.

I’m not aware of any studies on whether adverse outcomes increase in states where physicians have greater immunity for their actions, but intuitively, I don’t think the argument holds water. Do physicians who work in free clinics and who provide free care to indigent patients in exchange for immunity from liability routinely maim and neglect the patients they treat? Do physicians who work in both fee for service and charitable environments practice medicine in a Jekyll and Hyde manner? Doesn’t make sense without some data to back it up.

However, if we’re going to make the argument that immunity encourages bad professional practices, we need to make the argument on both sides of the professional coin.

If judges were not immune from lawsuits, would things like this still happen during trials?

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