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December 07, 2010


Joseph J. Neuschatz M.D.


I swear:

To obey the law and practice medicine to the best of my knowledge and according to my local judges, medical malpractice lawyers, jury decisions, mandatory second opinions, liability insurance companies and HMO limitations.

If abortions remain legal, I will or I will not produce them, depending on my own personal beliefs, on the number of abortion clinics burned in my immediate vicinity, and on the number of anti-abortion people picketing the local hospitals.

I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel. Unless, of course, a euthanasia law is finally passed and I will then make such desperate decisions case by case.

Whatever in connection with my professional practice, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men or women which ought not to be spoken of here or abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret.

Unless of course, their charts are subpoenaed by medical liability attorneys, requested by Medicare or Medicaid, checked by the hospital peer review committees or investigated by the department of Health.

While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the Art of Defensive Medicine.

(from the medical-liability novel "terrO.R." (fiction?)


Riddle me this - Trial Lawyers have assured me that the purpose of the Tort System is Patient Safety. However, there has been no appreciable decrease in serious adverse hospital events since the Institute of Medicine Study in the 1990's. Clearly, Plan A aka the Tort System is not working and it is time for Plan B. Med Mal Reform IS Healthcare Reform.

Paul S Kruger

What if, in order to save money, each specialty had to give up its most wasteful activity? As an obstetrician, I would nominate Medicaid payment for testing gravidas with no relevant family history to see if they have a gene for cystic fibrosis. This test costs over $200. The chance of finding a CF gene is 1 in 25 for caucasians. The baby can only be affected if its father also has a gene, also a 1 in 25 chance. If both parents have a gene, one in four babies will have CF, which might be diagnosed by prenatal amniocentesis. Office time explaining this to patients could be better spent on lifestyle counseling. Taxpayer money would be saved if the mother elects a pregnancy termination, avoiding the expense of a handicapped child. Where is the documentation that this testing saves money? It is only driven by the fear of a "wrongful life" suit.

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