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Invited Critique
March 2010

Solution to the Medical Malpractice Crisis: Don't Hold Your BreathComment on “Solving the Medical Malpractice Crisis”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(3):300-301. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.1

Engel and Livingston outline a rationale behind their novel proposal to change the current standard of evidence in a medical malpractice tort claim to a more stringent “clear and convincing” standard. Their reasoning and statistical data are clear and solid. The benefits of avoiding unnecessary malpractice litigation in time and cost and reducing the practice of defensive medicine are compelling.1 Such articles describing problems with the American malpractice tort system are not new but stretch back to the mid-1800s.2,3 Concerns regarding the potential legal (and medical) impact of quality improvement metrics, such as the Leapfrog standards, continue to the present.4 Unfortunately, we may not see any real change soon.

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