Conn. protects doctors helping the abused; why not rest of the time?

LETTER — Posted Feb. 28, 2005

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Regarding "Ruling protects doctors investigating abuse" (Article, Jan. 31): With the edition headlined with articles regarding medical malpractice, this story is especially ironic.

The article notes that the state of Connecticut has found it prudent to protect physicians who are involved in child abuse cases against medical malpractice suits. The article quotes the state Supreme Court as stating that such a law would avoid "fear of liability."

Why the same logic does not extend to all physician activities, arguably of equal importance, is unclear.

Apparently, the state of Connecticut does not mind the fact that physicians are being discouraged from other medical activities.

That such a protected status exists for some physicians points out that even the state Legislature recognizes the detrimental effect of the current medical malpractice system on the delivery of health care.

Shouldn't all physicians be afforded these protections to carry out their equally important duties?

Stephen Kirk, MD, Salem, N.H.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/02/28/edlt0228.htm.

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