Magazine article Medical Economics

Letters to the Editors

Magazine article Medical Economics

Letters to the Editors

Article excerpt

Plaudits for a doctor who fought back Thank you for detailing neurosurgeon John Guarnaschelli's ordeal ["Message to plaintiffs' lawyers: Sue me at your own risk." Dec. 4].

I've long hoped a national physicians' organization (AMA, are you listening?) would create an elite legal organization to assist physicians in pursuing appropriate countersuits. If the organization routinely identified and aggressively fought errant malpractice lawyers, few of them would view the medical profession as an easy target.

How much easier would Guarnaschelli's case have been for him if an organization was already in place to assist in his case? The expertise acquired as a result of his experience should not have to be reinvented every time a physician is wrongfully charged, and we physicians could have a major impact on the number of medical malpractice cases filed.

Guarnaschelli's "pilot study" has demonstrated the benefits of a more aggressive strategy. "Several suits filed against me over the last 15 years have all been dropped or dismissed," he noted. The response of the offending attorney in his article is exhibit A for such a coordinated effort: "He told the (Louisville) Courier-journal that as a result of this trial and verdict, he'll never take another medical malpractice case `unless they leave the scalpel in the chest and it's showing through the skin."

We physicians have the ability to make unnecessary medical malpractice cases far more costly to those who pursue them. Will we do so?

David L. Anders, MD Peachtree City, GA I review medical malpractice cases for several plaintiffs' attorney firms. Without exception, the best plaintiffs' lawyers would never file a suit without a thorough review of all records by at least one outside medical expert.

The attorneys I deal with are well-informed and review all pertinent literature relating to a case. …

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