May 26, 2024

Doctors and lawyer duel over malpractice in Florida

Three strikes and your doctor is out in Florida. A newly approved amendment to the state constitution stipulates that any doctor convicted of three instances of malpractice will have his medical licence automatically revoked. The measure was supported by lawyers. Doctors retaliated by supporting another amendment which reduces the percentage of an award a lawyer can take as a fee. This also passed.

Unsurprisingly, Florida doctors are unhappy. “It has branded the state as probably the most unfriendly state for physicians,” says Dr Robert Yelverton, a gynaecologist and obstetrician from Tampa. Observers think that lawyers now have the upper hand, because doctors will settle rather than risk scoring a “strike”. “In the next 10 years,” says Lester Brickman, of Yeshiva University, in New York, “virtually every doctor in the state of Florida will have been sued.” AP, Nov 26


IN BRIEF: oversight, transhumanism, Denmark, fertility

Oversights: Six GPs who countersigned cremation forms for Dr Harold Shipman, Britain’s worst mass-murderer, are being investigated by Britain’s General Medical Council. It is alleged that they failed to detect suspicious circumstances and missed many opportunities to stop Shipman, who is believed to have killed more than 120 of his patients.