Would “No Fault” Be A Better Way?

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 6:13am
Charles A. Pilcher MD FACEP

Last month I reported on the defense verdict in the case of a Bellingham woman left with brain damage as a result of a surgical complication. The case bothers me, and for the past few weeks I’ve been asking myself “Isn’t there a better way?”

Medicine is not a perfect science nor is the human body a perfect organism. Things go wrong. No one asks to have cancer, appendicitis, a major injury or a stroke. Nothing is completely preventable, nothing is always diagnosable, and nothing is completely fixable. Some things just happen.

Surely, some people destroy their body through their own bad choices, and some “body repairmen” are more competent than others. But nearly every doctor does his or her absolute best in every situation presented. Their intentions are good. Still, things can go wrong.

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