Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
Damages: One Family's Legal Struggles in the World of Medicine, by Barry Werth, 400 pp, $25, ISBN 0-684-80769-6, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1998.
A malpractice suit grows like kudzu. It climbs any available support, smothers it, and winds off in new directions as far as opportunity and obstacles allow. Damages, by Barry Werth, is an excellent account of a lawsuit against an obstetrician and a hospital and how the suit twistingly grew over 7 years. To the plaintiffs, their son's outcome was an avoidable catastrophe; but for substandard care, he would have been normal. To the defense, the suit was a "case in search of a theory."
Law and Medicine. JAMA. 1998;280(12):1112. doi:10.1001/jama.280.12.1112-JBK0923-4-1