AM I THE SAME?
I'm not out to hurt him. That's what . . . you gotta understand. . . . I'm just not the same.
As we have seen, uncertainty is inherent in the medical profession. Physicians were willing to admit that patients may sometimes have the right to compensation even when negligence was not involved, but physicians also felt that patients' expectations about the medical profession were often unrealistic, resulting in inappropriate suits. As Figure 3.1 in Chapter 3 shows, most claims are filed by those who are not negligently injured. What, then, convinced the former patients in my study to sue? To answer this question, we continue with the perspectives of the claimants.
Several quantitative studies have identified some of the characteristics of patients who file claims. One case control study found that white- collar workers who were dissatisfied with their care were the most likely to file claims. 1 Another study found that among the reasons for people calling malpractice attorneys were poor relationships with their providers, television advertising by law firms, recommendations by other health care providers to seek legal counsel, impressions of not being kept informed or appropriately referred by their providers, and financial concerns. 2 A third study reported that patients sued because they
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Publication information: Book title: The Practice of Uncertainty:Voices of Physicians and Patients in Medical Malpractice Claims. Contributors: Stephen L. Fielding - Author. Publisher: Auburn House. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 103.