Malpractice reform has unintended consequences

03/30/2014 5:03 PM

03/31/2014 11:35 AM

Re "Doctors should embrace lifesaving tools such as drug database" (Another View, March 27): Bob Pack argues that we should support CURES, the database doctors can use if established to guard against prescription abuse. This and proposed random drug testing of physicians is part of the malpractice initiative that may qualify for the November ballot.

You could argue whether or not these drug-centered proposals are appropriate or not, but clearly they should not be tied to a malpractice rate initiative. If the public was so supportive of increasing the maximum payout, the trial lawyers would not have to hide it or sweeten it with other proposals.

It will be the consumer who will ultimately pay for markedly increased malpractice rates. Also, it will have the unintended consequences of forcing doctors of the baby boomer generation out of practice earlier, who are currently working part time only and thus add to the doctor shortage.

-- Dr. Steven Polansky, Carmichael

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