You may have heard about Andrew Wakefield who tried to find a link between MMR vaccines and autism. He has published several papers. Now it turns out he acted unethically in carrying out his research according to a medical regulator.
Doctor Andrew Wakefield’s 1998 study, published in the Lancet medical journal, said there might be a connection between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) injection and autism.
The suggestion horrified parents and led to a slump in the number of youngsters getting the jab, as well as triggering heated debate in medical circles.
In a ruling Thursday, the General Medical Council attacked Wakefield for “unethical” research methods and for showing a “callous disregard” for the youngsters as he carried out tests.
This included taking blood samples from children at his son’s birthday party for five-pound payments.
Why am I writing about it?
Because we all have to learn from this. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*
In a surprise, President Obama has signaled a willingness to discuss medical liability as part of the health reform process.
Good for him for standing up to the trial lawyers, a core constituency of the left.
That’s a good sign, as the costs of defensive medicine brought on by the broken malpractice system, should be addressed if there is any hope of reducing health care spending.
Trial lawyers like to say that medical malpractice represents “less than one percent of the cost of health care,” but that fails to account for the substantial sum attributed to defensive medicine doctors practice to avoid the threat of malpractice, estimated to be $210 billion annually.
Furthermore, the argument that malpractice reform will harm patients “by limiting their ability to seek compensation through the courts” doesn’t hold water either.
That’s because the current system does a miserable job of compensating patients for medical errors, where more than 50 cents on every compensated dollar goes to pay lawyers and the courts. Not to mention that a typical malpractice trial may last years before an injured patient receives a single penny.
So, don’t believe the arguments of the trial lawyers, who prefer the financial security of the status quo.
Any alternative system, such as no-fault malpractice, mediation, or health courts, will go a long way both to reduce the cost of medical care, and fairly compensate more patients for medical errors at a significantly more expedient rate.
Lawyers are aware of these facts, and to their credit, are going on a preemptive offensive to head off tort reform. If I were the AMA, I would start pro-actively circulating some of the above talking points, rather than reacting to the trial lawyers.
**This post was originally published at KevinMD**
I want to ask you which would be more important: If all of the doctors in the country somehow disappeared or all the trial lawyers in America somehow disappeared? We can live without medical care, but we cannot live without justice.
— Gerry Spence
With our dwindling primary care force (and many PCPs considering leaving medicine), it looks like Gerry might get to test his hypothesis sooner than he thinks.
h/t to Dr. Wes for finding this astonishing quote.
Lawyer Gerry Spence, who was awarded the CAOC Lifetime Achievement Award, told conference attendees that legal representation is essential, even more important than health care, for people.
“We have to redefine who we are: We are the most important people in America,” Spence said. “There is no other profession in America that fights for freedom, that fights for what America is about, that fights for justice for ordinary people.”