NEW YORK, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Philip K. Howard, Chair of Common Good, the national nonpartisan legal reform coalition, issued the following statement today in response to a recent study on health courts that was commissioned by the American Association of Justice:
"The American Association of Justice (formerly known as the Association
of Trial Lawyers of America) recently released a study that it
commissioned on the potential of health courts to improve medical
justice. The study was conducted by two professors at Case Western
Reserve University, Max Mehlman and Dale Nance.
The study is critical of the concept of health courts, which is not
surprising, given the longstanding opposition of the AAJ and ATLA to
even trying out health courts on a pilot project basis. Their position
may be influenced by the fact that 60 percent of total malpractice costs
goes to lawyers' fees and administrative costs.
The findings of the study conflict with the views of a broad coalition
of patient advocates, consumer groups, health care providers, think
tanks, and others that have called for pilot projects for health courts.
A proposal to guide the development of pilot projects is currently being
jointly developed by Common Good and the Harvard School of Public Health
with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The current system fails to provide reliable justice. Most patients who
are harmed by medical errors get no compensation at all. Doctors who did
nothing wrong, especially in circumstances of human tragedy, can be hit
with huge verdicts. Moreover, predictable standards of care upon which
doctors and patients can rely are sorely lacking. The nearly universal
distrust of medical justice increases costs -- tens of billions of
dollars are spent annually on defensive medicine -- a
|SOURCE Common Good|
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