So I just read another article giving doctors sympathy for "having" to practice defensive medicine to avoid lawsuits. There is nothing, and I mean nothing that pisses me off more than exempting OBs from responsibility for their actions. The doctors who are practicing defensive medicine are assaulting their clients! Some of these women and babies die. Some are disabled. And now women are being denied insurance or have to pay huge premiums, and there's a call to make it easier on Doctors? Are you kidding me?

A cesarean section done for defensive medicine will possibly protect the Doctor from a lawsuit, but the assault will leave the family financially and physically poorer off. How much extra will it cost the average survivor of medical assault in premiums per month? Per year? For the rest of their life? Or what about the cost of having to cover a lifetime of medical costs without the benefit of insurance coverage at all?

The tort system is there to allow people to recover costs for damages. It is a financial damage for women to have to pay more for insurance, or to have to go without, just because some OB gets scalpel happy. And the answer? Make it easier on the Doctors?

How 'bout some class action lawsuits to recover damages caused by defensive medicine? Where do I sign up? I have a lifetime of higher costs/uninsurability to recoup.

Anybody else?

From the latest rant inspiring article:

"This is a reason I support an overhaul of our health care system. The
laws that currently surround our medical insurance, and these big bucks
insurance companies need to be reformed and become stricter, as well as
a huge needed reform to the medical malpractice laws so Doctors,
especially OB/GYN’s can stop practicing something that is now being
called defensive medicine."

ACOG has this to say:

ACOG Releases 2009 Medical Liability Survey
Results Paint Dismal Reality for Ob-Gyns and Their Patients

Washington, DC — As the negative state of the medical liability environment continues, ob-gyns across the US are forced to make changes to their practice that ultimately hurt patients, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) 2009 Survey on Professional Liability. More than 63% of ob-gyns report making changes to their practice due to the risk or fear of liability claims or litigation; 60% have made changes to their practice because liability insurance is either unavailable or unaffordable.

“This latest survey shows that the medical liability situation for ob-gyns remains a chronic crisis and continues to deprive women of all ages—especially pregnant women—of experienced ob-gyns,” said Albert L. Strunk, JD, MD, ACOG deputy executive vice president. “Women’s health care suffers as ob-gyns further decrease obstetric services, reduce gynecologic procedures, and are forced to practice defensive medicine."

And the excuse for these criminal assaults on women and infants? Awww, they MADE me do it!

Oh, and HOMEBIRTH is unsafe!

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I have wanted to sue for my unnecessary c-section for a long time. For the feeling of assault and the black mark it has left on my medical record and really a million other reasons. I really think that is the only why to make dr. stop defaulting to cutting and to think critically about it.
I tried to find a lawyer to sue for damages myself. All 5 of the lawyers I talked to said the same thing, that there was not enough damage to merit a lawsuit. I would win, but I had to be prepared to get back a 10th of the cost of the suit. When women start being dropped from their insurance because of c/s then there will probably be more merit in a suit, especially a class action suit. If I use a conservative, unadjusted estimate, and had to pay an extra $100 pm for insurance, that'd be $1,200 py, and then I'd pay an extra $120,000 every ten years. I had my c/s when I was 30, and I can expect to live at least another 40 years, so I'll be out of pocket $480,000 just because of defensive medicine. That's if I can get insurance. What a fine kettle of fish.
The issue of the high cesarean rate is long overdue in our country. I'm not sure if OBGYN's are making the argument that it is the fear of lawsuits which has hiked the c-section rate to such heights...
OB's having white knights rush to their defense really fries me too, BUT, I think the only chance we have is to change the system so that we eliminate that factor all together. Maybe if they don't have the law suit net to fall back on, and "I was going on vacation" doesn't sound so solid out loud, then we will see some change. But we also have to change a lot of other things along with that, like midwives carrying for low risk pregnancies and allowing the trained surgeons to preform the necessary surgeries. Then they'll have a lot less work to do, and they can get to their flight to Fiji on time. :)



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