One solution to liability crisis: Go bare everywhere

LETTER — Posted June 28, 2004

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Regarding "Physicians weigh odds of going bare" (Article, April 5): The presence of liability insurance serves only as an incentive to sue, not to reform a process that serves the plaintiffs' bar quite well. Suing physicians hasn't improved the quality of medical care.

I've long favored the 2x4 approach over diplomacy. The quickest way to bring sanity to the liability insurance crisis is for everyone to go bare.

Hospitals would be forced to allow physicians to continue to admit patients or would all have to close their doors. Insurance companies no longer would be wallowing in our premium dollars and would go out of business.

Likewise, the plaintiffs' bar would not waste time with us if there were no pot of gold and would go back to chasing cigarette and gun manufacturers and the fast-food industry.

Then, after we've gotten everyone's attention, maybe we can all sit down and create a better system that protects patient and physician interests, eliminates unfounded suits and provides affordable insurance.

David A. Rivera, MD, Lombard, Ill.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2004/06/28/edlt0628.htm.

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