First Do No Harm: The Cure for Medical Malpractice
Ira Williams, MD
Hardcover: 208 pages
Cote Literary Group / Corinthian Books
(click below for the very best currently available price for this important resource)
"Some specialty areas of medicine are again facing the problem of obtaining affordable liability insurance for medical negligence. Most medical providers and liability insurers blame the problem on plaintiffs' lawyers and wayward juries, whereas consumer groups and the plaintiffs' lawyers blame medical negligence and problems associated with business cycles in the insurance industry. Dr. Ira E. Williams, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and dental anesthesiologist, has written a thoughtful book about medical negligence and malpractice litigation. He has outlined a plan to alleviate it. Ideas in the book deserve serious consideration." - New England Journal of Medicine, February 3, 2005
In Hawaii, in 2001, a surgeon operated on a man to stabilize a disc injury in his spine. The titanium rod he needed to insert was not available in the operating room, so he reached for a nearby screwdriver, stuck it in the man’s back, and sewed up the incision. Two days later, the screwdriver broke and the wound opened. After three more attempts by the surgeon to remedy the situation, the patient was left a bedridden, incontinent paraplegic. Soon after, he died. The issue of medical malpractice will not go away. In fact, in the years ahead, the problem – and the number of proposed remedies – will grow. Nationwide, doctors and other healthcare practitioners are leaving private practice, especially in high-risk areas where malpractice insurance premiums have skyrocketed. Rural hospitals are closing their doors; urban hospitals have difficulty staffing emergency rooms. And yet, organized medicine cannot testify to what it is doing to mitigate the situation. Instead, it hides behind the robes of a judge. Medicine’s primary answer to a patient who questions an unacceptable outcome is, "Sue or forget it." This important book offers a radical, yet practical, prescription to remedy the primary cause of medical negligence in America. The cure is simple, inexpensive, and workable. It will enable hospital medical staffs to evaluate a practitioner’s capabilities; it will restore community confidence in the medical profession; and it will be effective, in most cases, without the need for attorneys, judges, or juries. Medical malpractice can be cured. This book tells how.
"Attacking the claim that medicine is an art not reducible to 'standards of care,' Williams notes that this argument has led to shifting standards, with a new one created by the legal system for each individual case. In addition, the lack of effective peer review among physicians and the reluctance to point out a colleague's mistakes have not only failed to prevent negligence but have resulted in litigation. Williams proposes a program called Individual Responsibility Peer Review, in which the standard of care is created by the practitioner and used by peers to determine whether negligence occurred. The book does a good job of showing how the present situation developed, and Williams's solution is one that, if reason should prevail, might be worth a careful look." - Library Journal, Dick Maxwell, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
Dr. Ira E. Williams has been a medical professional for more than 40 years. A board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and dental anesthesiologist, he served as chairman of the dental department and a member of the medical staff executive committee at Methodist Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, for several years. Dr. Williams also was a clinical instructor in the ear, nose, and throat and plastic surgery departments at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and Hospital for five years. In 1970, He organized the first one-week surgical refresher course "mini-residency" ever held in oral and maxillofacial surgery. This ground-breaking endeavor was conducted at Methodist Hospital by one of the foremost pioneers in that field. Practicing oral surgeons from five states participated in advanced surgical correction of jaw deformities for several patients over five days. The mini-residency method of advanced training for practicing surgeons subsequently became a common event in oral and maxillofacial surgery throughout the country. Dr. Williams’ medical career and volunteer work with cancer organizations and with the prison fellowship have given him deep insights into human mental and physical healthcare needs. He retired from private practice in 1990 and now makes his home in South Carolina, where he continues his volunteer service.
(information provided by the publisher)
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