New Study Finds Doctors' Fear of Lawsuits Is Often Irrational and Misplaced

One reason the medical industry keeps pushing for lawsuit "reforms" is that if it's harder for patients to sue doctors for malpractice, doctors will then practice less "defensive medicine" and that will save a lot of money with fewer unnecessary tests and treatments. Turns out that theory doesn't match reality.

One main reason, according to a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is that doctors have a high fear of lawsuits even in jurisdictions where most of the fear of litigation has been removed by legislative action. And therefore so called tort reforms carry little bang for the buck in saving health care dollars -- since they don't affect physician behavior.

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