News & Travel

Limiting the Rights of Malpractice Victims Does Not Translate to More Doctors

Almost every year, new ways to limit the rights of malpractice victims are introduced in the legislature. In Arizona, like many other states, some of the worst ideas become law. The usual justification for such laws is that there is a “medical malpractice crisis” and “good doctors will leave unless we limit suits.” Over and over these arguments get disproved by objective facts, but the arguments aren’t hindered by the facts. Texas instituted a number of ‘tort reforms’ over the past decade which were intended to get doctors to “come back” to Texas. Notwithstanding the arguments of the politicians that Texas has seen a major rise in practicing physicians due to the state’s tort reform that protects them against responsibility for medical malpractice, a new study has quashed all claims that tort reform has led to an influx of doctors.  According to this recent study, there is no evidence of such an increase in high-malpractice-risk specialties or patient care physicians in general.  According to the study, “Any effect of tort reform is too small for us to measure, against the background of other, larger forces affecting physician supply, both in Texas and nationally.”

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