September 5, 2006
Legal Healing, That's What I Want
(Sorry, I'm really no Marvin Gaye.)
Anyway. An interesting sounding new paper by Jonathan Todres on reframing medical malpractice litigation as part of the continuum of care. Unfortunately, the paper itself is not now available for download; it'll appear in the Connecticut Law Review. The abstract:
The medical malpractice liability system is blamed for everything from the high cost of health care to quality assurance issues. This Article suggests that that one of the problems with the current approach to medical malpractice is that legal remedies for medical error are not viewed as part of the continuum of care. Thus, a new model - driven by the principle of care and the goal of healing - is needed to address medical errors more effectively. Building from these core principles of care and healing, the author develops a new healing-centered framework which provides a better assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the current medical malpractice liability system and existing alternative schemes. Evaluating existing options using this new framework, we find that each of the current models falls short in certain ways. The author then turns to restorative justice for guidance in fashioning an alternative system for addressing medical error that meets the objectives of the healing-centered framework. Building on restorative justice principles, the author proposes a restorative medical error resolution scheme aimed at providing healing for patients, health care providers and the community.
Edit: Jonathan advises that he will be posting the article to SSRN, and that in the meantime, he'll send it to anyone who contacts him.
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