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This is a term paper on history of medical malpractice in the United States.

Importance of Medical Malpractice in United States

Malpractice law is part of tort, or personal-injury, law. Totriumph in a tort lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that thedefendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, that the defendantviolate this duty by failing to adhere to the customary of careexpected, and that this breach of duty caused an injury to theplaintiff. (Keeton et al., 1984)

Few issues in health care spark as much indignation and angst as medical-malpracticelitigation. Physicians condemn malpractice claims as random eventsthat visit unwarranted expense and emotional pain on knowledgeable,hardworking practitioners. Commentators mourn the “lawsuitlottery,” which provides windfalls for some patients, but nocompensation for the vast majority of patients injured by medicalcare. (O’Connell, 1979).  Within the health care industry, there is an almostuniversal belief that malpractice litigation has long sincesurpassed sensible levels and that major tort modification is overdue.

Yet the drive to sue continues, Plaintiffs’ attorneys andsome consumer groups interpret providers’ grievances as littlemore than predictable chafing on the part of a profession thatis unfamiliar to external policing. They view litigation asan indispensable form of protection against medical negligence.The response of trial attorneys to recent research on medicalerrors show their perception of themselves as championsof patient safety: new knowledge of the burden of medical errorsis seen as proof of the battles fought on behalf of patients,and the imperative such findings announce is clear morelitigation. (Boyle, 2002)

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