Letters to the Editor

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HEALTH: Tort system needs reform, too

Letter by William J. Morris, Tacoma on Oct. 22, 2012 at 11:59 am | No Comments »
October 22, 2012 2:34 pm

Re: “Good medicine also includes knowing what shouldn’t be done” (Viewpoint, 10-19).

Dr. Nick Rajacich’s article recommending more thoughtful decisions before ordering scans and tests is right, but the legal system and attorneys need to be on board, too.

No diagnostic system is perfect, but when the penalty for a missing a potentially dangerous abnormality is almost certainly a lawsuit, as a physician I will feel compelled to order MRIs even when I expect them to be normal.

Will the public and lawyers accept 95 percent accuracy to save lots of medical expense, or will they demand and pay huge additional amounts to get accuracy closer to 100 percent?

Nothing will be fully effective in lowering the cost of health care in America without substantial reform of the tort system as it applies to medicine.

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