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April 1, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(13):1040-1041. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500400044012

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It appears, according to a recent opinion of the attorney general of Iowa, that physicians can not take out insurance in that state against malpractice suits. The Travelers' Insurance Company of Hartford is issuing such policies, assuming liability for fixed sums of money which may be included in the costs and damages in case of such litigation. It applied for admission in Iowa but was refused, as far as this form of policy is concerned. The theory on which the opinion is based seems to be that it is contrary to public policy to allow a physician to be relieved from any of the consequences of possible mistake in treatment of a patient. Considering the fact that probably nine-tenths of all malpractice suits are pure blackmail, instigated by quacks and foraging lawyers, the finding seems to be a peculiar one. If justice were done in all cases few of these

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