Healthcare News & Insights

Public wants limits on medical liability lawsuits

Docs and hospitals aren’t alone in wanting to put the brakes on frivolous medical liability lawsuits. The idea has solid support from patients, too. 

In a recent nationwide poll, 54% of Americans were in favor of some limits on medical liability suits. Only 32% were against the idea. The poll was conducted by the Associated Press.

Why would potential patients want to limit their own legal options? Answers to some of the related poll questions provided a peek into the reasoning. For example, 59% of respondents said they believe doctors order unneeded tests to reduce the risk of a lawsuit later.

In an environment where virtually everyone agrees something has to be done to stem ever-increasing health care costs, many people see limiting liability suits as a key part of health care reform.

Of course, the poll had its critics. Legal groups pointed out that in the same survey, 10% of those who’d been to a doctor in the past five years, and 12% of those who’d been in the hospital, said that they had personally witnessed an incident they believed was a medical error.

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