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June 1, 2005

Tort Reform and the Patient Safety Movement: Seeking Common Ground

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Health Administration and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City.

JAMA. 2005;293(21):2660-2662. doi:10.1001/jama.293.21.2660

According to Sage,1 “doctors hate malpractice suits . . . passionately and continuously. . . . Eliminating malpractice suits takes precedence over every other political objective. . . . No contradictory belief, however well-reasoned, empirically based, or sincerely held, succeeds in crowding out antipathy toward malpractice from physicians’ minds. Not the large number of patients who die unnecessarily each year from medical errors; not the desirability of allowing patients to sue [health maintenance organizations] HMOs for improper care.”