Do Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Improve Patient Safety

by John McKiggan

I found a fascinating lecture (at least fascinating to medical malpractice lawyers) posted on You Tube the other day.

Dr. Brennan, Professor of Law and Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health is one of the United States’ leading experts on medical malpractice and patient safety. Dr. Brennan authored the famous Harvard Medical Practice Study.

Dr. Brennan considers a case study illustrating whether or not the American medical malpractice system improves patient safety.

Brennan believes that existing efforts aimed at preventing medical malpractice and improving quality of medical care are not effective.

Advocates of “reforming” the medical malpractice system lobby for limits to the ability to sue, capping the amount of compensation victims can receive and limiting the fees that medical malpractice lawyers can charge.

Brennan’s opinion is, to use a medical analogy, that these “reforms” treat the symptoms of the problem rather than treating the illness of negligent or sub standard medical care.

Medical malpractice kills more than 24,000 Canadians each year.

For example:

• As many as 24,000 patients die each year due to “adverse events” (doctor speak for “something bad happened”).

• 87,500 patients admitted annually to Canadian acute care hospitals experience an adverse event.

• 1 in 13 adult patients admitted to a Canadian hospital encounter an adverse event.

• 1 in 19 adults will potentially be given the wrong medication or wrong medication dosage.

• 37% of adverse events are “highly” preventable.

• 24% of preventable adverse events are related to medication error.

• The most common areas for an adverse event to occur was surgery followed by medicine related errors.

Nearly a quarter of Canadian adults (5.2 million people) report that they, or a member of their family, have experienced a preventable adverse event (lawyer speak for medical malpractice) according to a report released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Despite these numbers only 2% of Canadian medical malpractice victims receive compensation!

If you or a member of your family have suffered an injury that you think may be due to medical malpractice, feel free to contact me for a free copy of my book The Consumers Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada: Why 98% of Canadian Medical Malpractice Victims Never Get a Penny in Compensation!

If you are looking for a Nova Scotia Medical Malpractice Lawyer you can contact me for a free copy of my book: The Consumers Guide to Medical Malpractice Claims in Canada: Why 98% of potential medical malpractice victims never receive a penny in compensation.

If you believe you or a family member believe you may have been injured as a result of medical malpractice you can contact me through this blog, or call me toll free at 1-877-423-2050.

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