Money, Medicine, and Malpractice in American Society

Money, Medicine, and Malpractice in American Society

Money, Medicine, and Malpractice in American Society

Money, Medicine, and Malpractice in American Society


In conjunction with changing economic circumstances surrounding health care in the United States since 1945, malpractice insurance has contributed to changing patterns of control in medicine. Today, inflationary pressures associated with medical malpractice are clashing with endeavors to contain costs in health care. Hay provides a thorough investigation of the development of medical liability insurance in the United States--and its implications for tort law reform and health care provision. The book transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries to provide a straightforward account of circumstances giving rise to particular forms of legal, medical, and social regulation in the United States.


Writing a book is at once a selfish pursuit and a peculiar form of self-inflicted torture. The attendant introversion and miserable demeanor require that one has special friends--friends who provide reminders of the bright side of life, friends who bring one's feet back to the ground, friends who give without obligation. I have been blessed with such friends and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them in some small way for all they have done and for all they have offered.

First, there is Joe Sparr, who introduced me to the American heartland one summer long ago. There I found a slice of the country which I will never forget--fireflies and the scent of newly cut alfalfa in Friend, Nebraska; late summer rain in Red Oak, Iowa: searching for the world's best ribs in Kansas City; and fishing for "bullheads" in South Dakota's Lake Poinsett. Our experiential quest for an American essence also took us to some of Seattle's urban highspots: places where we talked and then mumbled about "America," where we drank beer, and where we played a little pool.

Dan and Darlene Menane greeted me as host parents and quickly became wonderful friends. While my own undemonstrative "kiwi" character meant that I rarely let them know it, Darlene and Dan's presence and conversations provided invaluable, critical, and down-to-earth support. I am enormously thankful.

My appreciation of various housemates over the years must certainly be expressed. I would especially like to thank David Mendelowitz and Lois Schipper for their encouragement, discussions, and good humor.

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