Libertarian1, it’s not so much a question of tort reform, but rather that medical accidents, errors of judgement, etc, are dealt with by a judicial system, the primary objective of which is to place blame and punish error. The whole system should be replaced by an accident-analysis system in which the objective, as in the investigation of airline crashes, is rather to prevent the mistake from re-occuring. Patients should be awarded reasonable damages from a fund created and maintained for that purpose, whether or not anyone can be found to be at fault. Unlike the present US system, in which everybody tries to cover up his or her mistakes, such an arrangement would encourage reporting of incidents and near-incidents by medical personnel, which should be made mandatory. Only in cases where intent to cause harm or really gross incompetence seems to be involved should the courts become involved. This would greatly improve the practice of medicine in the United States, while at the same time lowering costs. But of course, it goes contrary to the whole concept of US (in)justice, which divides the world into good guys (those who have the most expensive lawyers) and bad guys (those who don’t) and would moreover reduce the profits of insurance companies and trial lawyers, so it is most unlikely that anything of the sort will be adopted….
Apr 11, 2017