Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century

Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century

Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century

Unhealed Wounds: Medical Malpractice in the Twentieth Century

Synopsis

"Neal C. Hogan is Executive Director, The Advisory Board Company, Washington DC, a for-profit think tank." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Experience is fallacious and judgment difficult.

Socrates

At the opening of the twentieth century malpractice was an annoyance to only a small number of physicians. Though some medical societies offered insurance, and the occasional plaintiff won an award of more than a few hundred dollars, the average physician did not feel threatened by malpractice. Over the next 60 years this sense of comfort slowly eroded and by the 1960s even the general population spoke of β€œthe malpractice crisis,” prompting calls for tort reform, congressional hearings on physician liability, and newspaper articles about enormous jury awards against unscrupulous surgeons.

Both the number and severity of malpractice lawsuits have increased dramatically over the course of this century, indicating shifts in conceptions of the doctor-patient relationship, changes in tort law, and re-negotiations of the meanings of negligence, error, and the standard of care. This book will explore the roots of malpractice law, the roles of local and national associations in the fight against malpractice, the effect of the introduction of new technologies within biomedicine, as well as problems arising between the continuity of care and the rise of specialization, changing patient expectations of biomedical science, and the rise of large, bureaucratic institutions for the delivery of health care.

Malpractice does not change continuously over the century, but goes through distinct periods, each of which is characterized by particular plaintiffs, types of physicians, decisions in common law, and locations of care. A study of the rise of the malpractice lawsuit in the twentieth century does not merely yield a story of suits growing in number and deepening in severity. It also provides a framework for examining transformations in medicine, law, and society.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.