Excessive Litigation in Healthcare
Excessive litigation has rocked the U.S. healthcare system. This has had a severe impact on operations in health care system. A series of events have shaped the contemporary situation in U.S. healthcare system. In 2000, Dana Carvey needed an artery bypass. After two months, Carvey received the terrible news that the surgeon who operated on him had bypassed the wrong artery (Fuerst, 2000). On his defense, the doctor said that the mistake done was honest. He purported that the cause of the mistake was that Carvey’s artery was unusually positioned. Carvey after feeling different, he filed a $7.5 million lawsuit suing both the surgeon and the hospitals. Litigation has changed how medical practitioners work especially surgeons have become more selective. They are very keen on accepting to operate on someone. Even after the doctor admitted his mistake in Carvey’s case, he was still sued. The excessive litigations have placed patients’ safety in jeopardy. In many cases, the litigation system has not accurately judged the cases. Healthcare workers deserve a lot of respect for what they do. Instead, they are subjected to excessive litigation that has made them fear being fined. The legal fear has made medical practitioners choose not to handle some patients.
This litigation case has affected the historical evolution in healthcare. For a long time, medical professionals have been acting in good faith. They chose to handle life-threatening situations. In most of these cases, the operations came out as huge success to reckon with. Some of the operations went wrong due to many reasons some being from negligence. After excess litigations, physicians are afraid of losing their life savings after working extremely hard to earn their living (Engstrom, 2014). The good faith in which medical practitioners operated with has been suppressed. This has led to many patients suffering as many doctors choose not to handle their cases. Patient safety can, therefore, be concluded to have been jeopardized and if action is not taken, the situation may escalate leading the death of many patients. Some patients also take advantage of errors made by doctors. There is a huge potential for financial gain in negligence cases. Previous litigations have been criticized by people claiming that medical practitioners should in most cases be pardoned because they act in good faith (Motsoaledi, 2015).
In Carvey’s case, the surgeon accepted to have made a mistake. He ought not to have been taken to court. However, due to the growing trend, Carvey could not avoid going to court. Having accepted his mistakes, the surgeon, the hospital and Carvey should have settled the case out of court. Had this happened, medical practitioners would have appreciated the fact that people understand they go through hard times and they are made to make critical decisions. The effect this case has had on the healthcare sector is regrettable. When a person is sick, he should be given all the care necessary. Doctors are sworn to protect the lives of patients at all time. Backing down …