New Medical Malpractice Policy Being Discussed In States Like Maine Could Cause Conflict of Interest

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As long as there are people being hurt, neglected, or otherwise adversely affected by doctors and medical professionals, there will be medical malpractice lawyers waiting to defend your rights and offer services for fair restitution. That is, unless certain new policies come to fruition.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Maine is one of a handful of states that have been considering some pretty drastic changes to the way medical malpractice negligence cases would be handled. At the base of the argument is the — at-times — contentious doctor-patient relationship and defensive medicine potentially being performed out of legal fears.

The new idea is to establish a state-run Office of Medical Review. Instead of going through the traditional court-based process, victims would have to appear before a panel of healthcare professionals that hear the case and decide on a verdict.

Many doctors appear to be in favor of this move, but is it be in the best interests of the victim? It seems there would be an inherent conflict of interest between doctors Some serving on the board may have been sued in their own practice, a bias that could influence their decision to hold a peer liable.

It’s important to remember that the reason malpractice lawyers and malpractice lawsuits exist is not to do damage to the healthcare professional at fault, but to provide restitution for the individual who was hurt. Shockingly, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

On average, an inpatient malpractice case will payout about $363,000. In the outpatient setting the number will be closer to $290,000 for a medical mistake. For whatever reason, females are more likely to be the victims and need medical malpractice lawyers. In about 60% of medical lawsuits, the plaintiff is a woman.

Whatever Maine legislators decide to do, things will stay the same in New York, at least for now. There have been no reports at this time of similar policies being investigated.

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