Eliminating medical malpractice would result in savings of billions of dollars each year. The annual cost of medical errors in additional medical expenses to fix the injuries caused by malpractice is estimated to be over 1.4 billion dollars for just surgical errors alone. This does not include misdiagnosis cases, medication errors and other medical mishaps not related to surgery.
The reason for the high cost is because of the sheer extent of malpractice in our medical system. It has been estimated that “about 1 in 10 deaths occurring within 90 days of surgery stemmed from a preventable error”. This calculation comes from data analyzed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Now think about that if one in ten of plane flights resulted in deaths from preventable error our society would be outraged. If truckers caused deaths in one in ten trips from preventable errors the Department of Transportation would crack down on the bad truckers causing all these deaths. Sadly, the health care providers are not regulated by the DOT, they are regulated by various and sundry state agencies that use peer review systems to sanction other health care providers. Enforcement is lax and sometimes nonexistent. It appears that our legal system and lawsuits are the only deterrents we have to rampant medical malpractice. Sadly, however, many laws immunize health care providers from financial liability in wrongful death cases. For example, in Florida health care providers have virtually no liability for the negligently causing a death of someone who is single and without minor children.