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November 10, 1978

Pain and Profit: The Politics of Malpractice

JAMA. 1978;240(20):2200. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290200078041

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The literature of the medical malpractice crisis of the mid-1970s usually has an accumulation of historical information telling just how we got where we are today, but with a dearth of practical advice and methods on how to find a way ahead. The authors of this work provide insightful information on causes of the malpractice problem and some suggested solutions that, if adopted, would eliminate private practice and fee-for-service as we know them.

The authors may have intended to attract interest (and therefore sales) by a catchy title, but I found that the title yields no hint of the considerable amount of medicolegal scholarship within. The title is, in fact, rather inaccurate in that the political process at federal, state, and local levels plays only a minor part in these pages. Even so-called medical politics is given short shrift.

The authors are attorneys who write well and knowledgeably. Though superficial