The Purpose of Medical Malpractice
There has been a lot of attention focused on legislation that seeks to limit (cap) non-economic awards for medical malpractice lawsuits in an attempt to reduce healthcare costs. However, that is rather like closing the barn doors after the horses have fled, because the purpose of medical malpractice is not to get monetary awards but to motivate health professionals to honor their duty of care to patients. As found on the website of The Benton Law Firm, patients have the right to expect that they receive the appropriate medical care.
Take for example the case of a Connecticut hospital that reduced medical malpractice claims by half by simply improving their patient care system. There are no medical malpractice caps in Connecticut, which clearly illustrates what really needs to be done to reduce malpractice claims: better patient care.
Healthcare professionals, especially medical doctors, and especially specialists, have bought into the belief that they are gods, and that they can do no wrong. Consider the case of a celebrated cardiologist in Fresno who left an open-heart surgical procedure before it was done, leaving it to an assistant to finish the job. The patient went into a vegetative state, and the doctor is now being sued for medical negligence.
Because healthcare professionals literally have our lives in their hands, they are stringently trained and expected to conform to a high standard of care. When they breach that duty through willful or reckless behavior, they need to be held accountable for the damage they inflict on people who have put their utmost trust in them. Because medical malpractice often results in life-changing injuries or death, it is just right that the victims or their survivors receive at least significant financial compensation for their losses.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and suffered grievous injury as a result, financial compensation is the least that is owed you. A medical malpractice lawyer may not be able to “make whole” what has been lost, but they can help in giving you the best shot at it.