Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Yes, I take money from lawyers to review other doctors' work. I am happy to say that 90% of the potential lawsuits are unfounded, and that the attorneys I respect are quite happy to drop the worthless ones (though slow improvement in most states' laws is giving them financial reasons to back off). My most recent case involved a patient whose doctors felt that aggressive medical care was futile, and they documented their many conversations with the family in detail. I told the attorney that this patient's misfortune was in not coming to one of the two states in the country that allow hospitals, after lengthy deliberation and many "second" opinions, to tell the family to let nature take its course or else transfer the patient elsewhere. Cynical observation, which I am sorry to say is supported by everybody I've talked to about similar cases: the family almost always has a financial motive for trying to keep the patient "alive" as long as possible (if you can call multiple organ failure and no meaningful communication "living"). They may be low-income folks living on Grandma's SSI or high-rollers with a financial power of attorney, but they take a monetary hit when the guest of honor goes to his or her reward. So, as I've asked many times in these cases: Anybody got any ideas?
Posted by Authentic Medicine Blog at 5:18 AM