My grandfather always tells me that his favorite book is “lawyers and other reptiles” which is usually good for a bit of a chuckle. To be honest though, I really do not blame the lawyers for doing what they do, nor do I blame the people that take advantage of the system and its holes. I personally put the blame on the system itself for having those holes in the first place. Just like I do not blame the politicians for getting corrupted, I blame the system that makes it so easy for corruption to intrude. Humans by nature have a tendency to give into desire. We all have varying levels of how much temptation is necessary before we do something some others would consider immoral, our own moral boundaries if you will. However, the greater the amount of rewards offered, the easier it becomes for a person to convince themselves that what they are doing is OK. After all, “if it were bad, why would I get so much for doing it?”
Well I bring this up just now as a prelude into what I really want to talk about today, and that is lawsuits Malpractice lawsuits in particular.
“Conservative estimates put the total cost of medical malpractice at nearly $35 billion annually and, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, nearly $5 billion is paid in claims each year. With an average claims payment of about $300,000 and up to 50% of that going to the lawyers representing the patient”
These numbers are absolutely insane, all of them. For one, the fact that we sue for that much is crazy. For two, the fact that lawyers get 50% of these funds is ridiculous!! And we wonder why healthcare is so expensive? Look at the types of costs that get endured just from the legal side. In the healthcare industry, there can be no such thing as error or mistake, or it will cost a fortune. Chances can’t be taken to come up with new cures or procedures because if something goes wrong, the hospital and research teams pay dearly for it. People lose their jobs over it.
Now I have thought about it many times, and I go back and forth on my decision on this question, and it would probably be different if I were actually placed in the position But if a medical mistake was made on me, would I sue? I think the answer depends on how bad the mistake, and how much of it was pure human error. If a doctor cuts off my leg when I go in for tooth pain because of mixing up papers yes I would sue. But if a pill I took to treat my kidneys ends up causing damage to my lungs that there was no way anyone could know about until the results came in, what would I do? Well, I would probably sue the pharmaceutical company (just because I don’t like pharmaceutical companies), but I wouldn’t sue the hospital or the doctors. They were just doing what they truly thought was best to help me the best they could. They worked with the information they had, and did all they could to help me recover. If I were to sue them, it would just be greedy, and cause damage to people who really didn’t do anything wrong. Grant it, their actions may have been indirectly responsible for me losing a lung, but they acted with their best intent forward, and were doing nothing but trying to help me. I can forgive that.
As far as lawyers and their ridiculous fees go Well I should go read that book my grandfather keeps recommending to me J:).