Malpractice Actions without Expert Medical Testimony
Fear of malpractice actions against them is causing physicians to "run scared." Some physicians now say that they feel that the threat of legal action has materially altered the practice of medicine. Defensively, some medical doctors say that they are ordering additional X-rays and lab tests, just to have them on record. Others say they are just plain afraid to try new techniques and diagnostic treatments because of the specter of a malpractice action. Innovative techniques carry additional risks, and some doctors admit that in some risky situations they merely do what will keep them out of trouble rather than do what is best for the patient. Some other, more candid physicians admit that some doctors are not recording everything in patients' records for fear that the information some day will be used against them. To what extent is the fear of a malpractice action justified?