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Medical Malpractice

Tens of thousands of people die each year from preventable medical errors. But rather than reform the medical system to prevent needless deaths and injuries, the health care and insurance industries are lobbying to limit the rights of injured patients to seek full recovery in the courts.

Rather than ignore the real crises – a lack of attention to patient safety and physician oversight – insurers and the medical lobby should invest their considerable resources in real health care and insurance reforms that will protect patients and reduce the incidence of medical error.

“Administrative Compensation” Schemes

The corporate and insurance lobbies have a new trick up their sleeve that they call “administrative compensation” or “health courts.”  Don’t be fooled – there’s nothing healthy about these schemes.

The ultimate goal of these administrative programs is to shut the door to the courts completely, and to replace the courts with new tribunals overseen by medical societies and insurance companies.  To learn more about the reality behind these scams, see our series of fact sheets:

Patient Safety Should be Priority #1

Medical Errors: The Real Crisis

Medical Malpractice Rates in Decline

A Move in the Wrong Direction

With “Health Courts” 90 Percent of Victims Get Nothing

The Hidden Costs of Health Courts

Read our presentation Second-tier: How Health Courts Threaten Civil Justice.

What We’re Doing

Public Citizen continues to fight for safety and oversight of health care providers to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care.  To inform the debate, Public Citizen has published a collection of research that underscores the truth about the real crisis in this country – a lack of attention to patient safety and physician oversight that leaves tens of thousands of individuals injured or dead every year.  For our most recent research on medical malpractice, check out the following reports.

Claims of a Doctor Supply Crisis Not Supported by Facts

The Great Medical Malpractice Hoax: NPDB Data Continue to Show Medical Liablity System Produces Rational Outcomes

Fear-Mongering on Ob-Gyn Access Belied by Facts


A Self-Inflicted “Crisis”

Shortsighted policy decisions by New York’s government in the 1990s are responsible for the purported medical malpractice “crisis” in the state, according to a report released by Public Citizen, New York Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Medical Consumers. Gov. Eliot Spitzer and a task force studying malpractice are urged to focus on ways to improve patient safety and to resist pleas from the insurance industry and the state’s doctors to pare back patients’ legal rights. Learn more.