Ernest Thorsgard, Thief River Falls, letter: Fear of lawsuits drives up costs
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- I was recently handed an article from a magazine that stated malpractice cases accounted for only a small number of cases that came to trial. But the fact is that we should examine why there is such a fear of lawsuits.
A patient presents a doctor with a headache, not very severe, so the doctor decides to keep an eye on it. When the headache worsens, the patient goes to another physician, who does a CAT scan and discovers a tumor.
Whether or not the party with the tumor sues the first physician, that doctor feels bad, as well as he or she should.
After this, should he do a CAT scan on everyone with a headache?
Do you see now why there are so many unnecessary tests?