Ending frivolous lawsuits will keep doctors practicing

The frustrations and fears expressed by Dr. Jay Ginsberg’s op-ed, “Frustrated and afraid, doctor hanging up stethoscope,” (June 16), are shared by many physicians. Isn’t it a sad commentary on our health care system that one of the reasons why he is retiring from medicine is because of the fear of a medical lawsuit?

Many of the lawsuits that are filed are unwarranted. Lawyers call them frivolous lawsuits. They are based on questionable evidence. Most of them are dismissed but in the meantime a physician is forced to undergo needless worry and distraction; and the disruption of his or her practice.

An AMA report in 2017 mentioned that 68 percent of closed claims in 2015 were dismissed or withdrawn, and that of the 7 percent of claims that went to trial, 88 percent were decided in favor of the doctor.

There are many reasons that good doctors like Dr. Ginsberg retire but the one that trumps the rest is the fear of a frivolous lawsuit. There would be less of them if our lawmakers had the courage to penalize the lawyers responsible. But it is doubtful that our lawmakers have the courage.

Dr. Edward Volpintesta

Bethel

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