Tort Law and the Public Interest: Competition, Innovation, and Consumer Welfare

By Peter H. Schuck | Go to book overview

7
Malpractice Liability: Is the Grass on the Other Side Greener?

PATRICIA M. DANZON

T here is widespread concern over the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance and the possibility of large associated costs of "defensive medicine." This has led to proposals for radical changes in the traditional tort system of liability for medical malpractice,1 in addition to more modest tort reforms. The purpose of this chapter is to review the evidence concerning the behavioral impacts of the current system on physicians and to evaluate some of these proposals for reform. The focal point of this review is the intended role of the liability system in deterring negligent practice. Even if most medical providers exercise good care most of the time, concern over deterrence is not misplaced because the rate of neg

____________________

PATRICIA M. DANZON is Atlantic Richfield Term Professor of Health Care Systems and professor of insurance at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Professor Danzon is the author of Medical Malpractice: Theory, Evidence and Public Policy, published by Harvard University Press in 1985, and of numerous articles. In 1988 she received the American Association of Risk and Insurance Award for the Outstanding Article of the Year.

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