Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Greedy lawyers and negligent doctors

See this rundown on the coming nasty election battle over two medical-malpractice initiatives in Washington. One, I-330, backed by the medical community, puts caps on jury awards and attorney fees. The other, I-336, backed by lawyers, makes a doctor's malpractice history public information and creates a mechanism to revoke the licenses of chronically negligent doctors. So far, the doctors are outspending the lawyers by a factor of 2 to 1.

Frankly, neither initiative is particularly attractive. There is no guarantee jury award and attorney fee caps are going to lead to lower medical costs and the truly injured will be deprived of a remedy. At the same time doctors are already under intense scrutiny, and there is no indication that increased scrutiny will lead to better care.


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