If negligence—negligence only, and not merely a bad outcome with severe injury—is to be paid for, then 10,000 physicians, through their premiums can afford a fund to make payments. There is just not that much negligence. If bad outcomes are to be rewarded with cash, through the process of lawsuits alleging negligence, then 10 million citizens must be the financial base.
That is true for workers’ compensation laws, and if it were not the case that industrial accidents pay less for, say, the loss of a thumb, than medical accidents, then all manufacturers would leave the U.S. Thus, workers’ compensation is constitutional because it is necessary public policy that it be so. In the case of medical accidents, those costs are merely reflected in more testing, more referrals and all the higher costs of defensive medicine. Too bad for Illinois.
William Cast, M.D.
PresidentFort Wayne (Ind.) Medical Surety Co.