Physician Describes Impact of Malpractice Suit

Family doctor describes detrimental effect of prosecution in case examples

THURSDAY, Sept. 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A family doctor who was involved in a malpractice suit describes the impact on her practice of medicine in an article published online in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Ruth Kannai, M.D., from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, shared case examples to describe the potential impact of a malpractice suit on medical practice. Topics including post-traumatic stress disorder and practice of defensive medicine were included.

The author described one case that involved a woman with symptoms matching the diagnosis of panic disorder. Post-prosecution, the doctor considered every possible diagnosis for every symptom presented and added extra tests to those that had already been undertaken. Another case involved a baby presenting with symptoms of a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Post-prosecution, the doctor felt compelled to provide the mother with a hospital referral in case of emergency.

"We, the prosecuted doctors, are abandoning our most fundamental contract with our clients, which is to place them at the center, putting their needs before our own," Kannai writes. "'Defensive medicine,' on the other hand, sacrifices the patient's well-being for the emotional health and sound sleep of the doctor."

Full Text

Physician's Briefing