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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?

Ernest Thorsgard