Medical malpractice claims have always been very difficult for patients. There have always been many obstacles, challenges and biases weighing against them. Over the last 20 years, medical malpractice claims have declined dramatically despite what may fairly be called an epidemic of medical negligence that results in hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of injuries each year.
One might expect the public and its political leaders to take note of this and take action to protect patients and families. Every political cycle, politicians instead jump on the bandwagon myth of an epidemic of frivolous medical malpractice claims. And with this comes repeated and constant efforts to strip patients of what few rights they still have.
The latest comes in the form of a provision buried deep in a US House Bill (H.R. 1470) which states that scientific and well accepted medical care standards set forth in Medicare’s list of non-compensable preventable hospital acquired conditions cannot be considered a standards of medical care.
With this approach, it may fairly be expected that medical negligence will continue to grow while insurance companies whistle on the way to bank as more and more obstacles are thrown in front of patients injured or killed by preventable medical error.