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The Right Remedy for Ohio's Medical Malpractice Crisis

The Right Remedy for Ohio’s Medical Malpractice Crisis


A local newspaper ran an article recently informing the public of the early retirement of a renowned family practice physician in small-town Ohio.  He is a casualty – as are the seven thousand patients who will miss him – of Ohio’s medical malpractice crisis.  This physician was thrice sued in the recent past for malpractice.  Two of the cases were so blatantly frivolous that they were thrown out before trial, but his insurance company had to pay attorneys’ fees nonetheless.  In the third case, a widow sued because her husband died of a heart attack - in part due to his noncompliance with this physician’s careful instructions.  Though the doctor was not at fault, it was less expensive for him to settle out of court than to fight a case that he would probably win.  If he chose to go to trial, there was the risk that the jury would be emotionally manipulated by the poor widow’s sob story and would rule against him.  The doctor took the prescription of his attorney and settled out of court, and as a result his malpractice insurance carrier dropped him like a hot potato!  Unreasonably high jury awards are forcing insurance companies to double their rates and stop insuring their “high risk” physicians.  Other insurance companies were quoting him astronomical rates that would have bankrupted him.


Unfortunately, Ohio is going the way of West Virginia, where good physicians are packing up and moving to more physician-friendly states.  Zanesville recently had a  neurosurgeon forced into retirement early because of skyrocketing insurance rates.  Some Ob/Gyns are seriously considering leaving.  The remedy for what ails our healthcare crisis is a statewide moratorium on lawyers!  The Ohio legislature needs follow Texas' lead and buck the trial lawyers – the culprits in this crime of greed and legal plunder – and cap the amount of money that juries can award for “pain and suffering."  The suing attorney should also pay all of the court fees if he files a frivolous suit.  The benefits of the resulting lower malpractice rates will trickle down to patients with lower medical costs and quality, local physicians.


Prospective jurors, take note: wealthy citizens do not deserve to be plundered if they have done nothing malicious, and covetousness and theft by poor widows and their lawyers is wrong, however routine it may have become in our courts.  In God’s law, malpractice mandated reimbursement of healthcare costs and lost earnings in accidental cases or corporal or even capital punishment in cases involving malice.  The awards, if any, went to the victims, not ambulance-chasing parasites bent on taking advantage of the tragedies of the poor to create tragedies for the wealthy for their own selfish gain.


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