Ronald W. Ramirez, Attorney at LawRonald W. Ramirez Attorney at Law
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Commentary: a changed perspective on medical malpractice

It's not like hard-practicing medical malpractice attorneys in New York or elsewhere advocating diligently on behalf of victims injured through botched medical care need confirmation that there is a problem with bad doctors and accountability in the medical profession.

Enlightenment is certainly needed for principal players within that industry, though (heads of medical boards, government groups charged with oversight and enforcement responsibilities, hospital administrators and others), and it is certainly forthcoming in comments delivered recently by one prominent reformer who decries harms inflicted on patients "through narcissism, carelessness [and] ineptitude."

And it is certainly noteworthy when criticisms -- well-considered and thoughtfully delivered -- come from a commentator who once played a central role within the medical profession.

In fact, Lawrence Schlachter was once a neurosurgeon. When an injury abruptly ended his career, he went to law school and eventually became a plaintiffs' medical malpractice attorney.

And now he sees things in a different light.

Schlachter hardly thinks that all doctors are part of the malpractice problem. What he does observe with heightened acuity these days, though, is the devastation wreaked upon innocent patients by a small fraction of incompetent practitioners. He sees a systemic problem with cover up and denial and what he says is "human nature and arrogance causing people to circle the wagons."

And he prominently makes an additional point relevant to dumbed-down care, namely, that progressively more delegation is going on in the medical realm, resulting in persons other than doctors (e.g., physician assistants and nurse practitioners) standing in for physicians, even specialists.

We referred to that in an earlier post, noting in our August 30 entry a story surrounding the VA's use of "'unqualified personnel' to conduct brain-trauma examinations and render TBI diagnoses" in many thousands of cases.

Schlachter says that, sadly, the medical profession "is incapable of regulating itself."

And that is why impassioned and client-empathetic attorneys continue to work ceaselessly on behalf of patients victimized by negligent medical care.

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