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Acceleration In Medical Technology Can Increase Medical Risks & Costs

February 21, 2013

There perhaps has never been a time when it's been more necessary for the individual to vigilantly retain the right to hold medical providers responsible for preventable medical mistakes. An argument that would deprive one of the ability to file a meritorious medical malpractice lawsuit in order to significantly reduce healthcare costs is specious. For example, it is claimed that healthcare workers, acting defensively, perform unnecessary tests and that medical malpractice insurance drives up the cost of care. As has been demonstrated by numerous independent studies, this is not a material factor. One emerging dynamic that is influencing medical costs and complications is the unprecedented acceleration in technological innovation and, at times, the questionable use of this technology. This exponential technological change is baked into the delivery of medical care--vastly fueling the risk of medical complications.

The governmental agencies that are responsible for oversight of the healthcare and insurance industries are often captive to the very people and entities that they were originally intended to force into responsiveness to the public good. As such, without the recourse of a medical malpractice lawyer to file a valid claim, it is very possible that there will be no recourse at all. One's legal right, in this regard, is a structural necessity.

As everyone knows, innovative physicians, researchers and technicians discover new and better ways to do things, such as sustaining the lives of terminally ill patients, diagnosing fetal abnormalities in utero, and facilitating conception for infertile couples. However, a general tendency is for these technologies to take on a life of their own, expanding well beyond the problems and patients for whom they were originally intended. And this has nothing whatever to do with doctors practicing defensive medicine.

Changing expectations, ratcheting ever upward, are cultural phenomena outside the control of the individual. Unresponsive institutions are the result of pressures exerted by powerful interest groups, and this likewise is outside the control of the individual. Understood in this context, the very last thing one should want would be the loss of legal redress in the case of genuine medical malpractice.

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