New Malpractice Concern: Waking in Surgery
"The country's top patient-safety watchdog group has issued an alert about the dangers of waking up during surgery -- a warning that many in the legal and health professions say could trigger more malpractice suits against anesthesiologists."

Doctor sues lawyer for legal malpractice
The tables are turned.

Malpractice: How to stay out of harm's way
Common-sense tips for docs.

Voters approve all three medical malpractice issues
More on the Florida malpractice amendments.

Florida: Most amendments OK'd
"The long-running battle between doctors and lawyers over medical-malpractice insurance produced three proposed constitutional amendments - and voters approved them all.

Lawyers won amendments to give the public more information about doctors' mistakes and to take away the medical license of doctors who make several medical errors. Doctors won with an amendment limiting the percentage of winnings that lawyers can claim as payment in malpractice ...

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Fla. amendments headed for passage
"With 22 percent of precincts reporting, Florida's Amendment 3 to limit lawyers' fees in malpractice cases is leading with 1,291,647 or 64.4% of votes "yes" and 715,125 or 35.6% "no". Barring a truly unprecedented turnaround, the measure seems headed for passage by a comfortable margin, a crushing defeat for both the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers and for the Florida Bar Association and American ...

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Liveblogging the ballot measures tonight
PointofLaw.com is livelogging the various medical malpractice measures tonight.

Malpractice Prescriptions
PointofLaw is hosting a featured discussion on medical malpractice: "This month, we're looking into medical malpractice once more. In lieu of a back-and-forth format, this month we're inviting comments from some leading thinkers on medical malpractice reform to discuss a new paper by Daniel Kessler of Stanford Business School . . ."

One doctor, one pharmacy

Today's story in the NY Times on chronic pain writes about the practice of some to encourage chronic pain patients to go to multiple pharmacies:

The red flags that rightly alert regulators to potential misconduct by doctors are, paradoxically, the very features that can also mark responsible care for intractable pain. These include prescribing high volumes of narcotic painkillers for extended periods, prescribing potentially lethal doses or prescribing several ...

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Gaining attention

Almost a month ago, some Maryland physicians protested a 33 percent increase in malpractice premiums. It seems like they have brought about some action:

Maryland leaders raised hopes yesterday for a special session of the General Assembly next month that would focus on curbing insurance rate increases for doctors, but they acknowledged that key details -- including how to pay for new initiatives -- remain unresolved.

No sharing

Canada isn't sharing their flu vaccine supply: "The stuff that's sitting in my fridge isn't for them."

Update:
Waiting some four hours for the flu vaccine caused someone to collapse and die.

You can blame the lawyers for the flu vaccine shortage (via Medpundit):

Whether doctors are quitting the profession because of an out-of-control tort system, whether malpractice premiums are the cause of health care increases--such ...

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A reader responds to the recent WSJ story on the effects of non-economic caps:

I have become a pediatric patient safety advocate, not by my own choosing. I have received several emails from grieving parents over the past few months asking me for advice. They can't get answers why their child died - because of the archaic and accepted disclosure policies most hospitals insist upon - nor an attorney ...

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Differing malpractice views

Medscape with a nice article on the divergent malpractice views by the candidates:

Skyrocketing malpractice premiums have forced physicians to perform additional tests and procedures they might not need to, driving up federal costs by $28 billion a year, Bush told audiences attending debates in Tempe, Arizona, on Oct. 13 and in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 8. Enacting tort reform with a $250,000 limit on payment for noneconomic damages ...

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Grand rounds #3

It is my pleasure to host the third edition of Grand Rounds, a weekly best of the medical weblogs. The blog format provides a unique and powerful opportunity to bring medicine, "behind-the-scenes", to light.

This edition features a diverse collection of voices - ranging from physician commentary on breaking medical news to personal stories from nurses, EMTs, and medical house staff. I invite you to browse and read the ...

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The candidates on med-mal reform

Overlawyered takes a look at the medical malpractice exchange between Bush and Kerry at the second presidential debate.

Debate on malpractice

There is an interesting debate going on at Medrants between Dr. Centor and a lawyer. The topic of defensive medicine came up:

Many physicians do order unnecessary tests. This phenomenon occurs most often in emergency rooms, but also occurs in office practice.

When does this occur? I do not have hard data (again db asks for help from the readers), but I believe that I see ...

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Malpractice affecting the people

Think the malpractice crisis isn't affecting the public? Think again:

The IssuesPA/Pew Poll has found that a remarkable 26 percent of Pennsylvanians polled "said rising malpractice insurance costs have forced their family to change doctors in the past year", and that state residents polled also favored a constitutional cap on pain and suffering damages by a margin of 68 percent to 24 percent.

Battle-lines . . .

. . . are drawing closer. Not only in Florida, but also in three other states:

Rivaling Bush vs. Kerry for bitterness, doctors and trial lawyers are squaring off this fall in an unprecedented four-state struggle over limiting malpractice awards. The volatile issue is in voters' hands and each side is desperate to win, spending millions of dollars to make their cases and portray the other side as ...

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Another point for tort reform

More black and white. Tort reform works (from PointofLaw):

The Medical Assurance Co. of Mississippi, which provides medical malpractice insurance to about 60 percent of the doctors in the state, will not raise base premium rates in 2005.

Insurance Commissioner [and Democrat] George Dale said Friday that the decision shows that "those people who said that tort reform would not work and actively fought any civil ...

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Black and white

Tort reform = lower malpractice rates:

Texas' largest medical liability insurance provider said Monday it will cut its rates by 5 percent starting in January.
No tort reform = soaring malpractice rates:
Physicians in a northwest Maryland county plan to halt non-emergency surgeries for at least two weeks to protest a 33 percent increase in malpractice insurance premiums.

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