Act first and look up the law afterward?: Medical malpractice and the ethics of defensive medicine [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (6):569-589 (1998)
This essay examines the so-called phenomenon of defensive medicine and the problematic aspects of attempting to maintain the safest legal position possible. While physicians face genuine litigation threats they frequently overestimate legal peril. Many defensive practices are benign, but others alter patient care and increase costs in ways that are ethically suspect. Physicians should learn to evaluate realistically the legal risks of their profession and weigh the emotional, physical, and financial costs to the patient before employing a defensive measure.
|Keywords||medical malpractice medical ethics beneficence defensive medicine risk management clinical uncertainty|
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