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Malpractice Litigation Reform: Empirical Approaches to Establishing the Legal Standard of Care

Malpractice Litigation Reform: Empirical Approaches to Establishing the Legal Standard of Care


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by Mark A. Hall, J.D., and Michael D. Green, J.D.
This article proposes that the legal standard of care in malpractice cases should be established through empirical methods rather than only with experts? subjective opinions. The authors outline and critique two approaches for doing so and explain the legal advantages and barriers to implementing these legal reforms. Basing the legal standard of care on evidence of actual physician behaviors and views would help to improve medical practice by reducing the need to engage in defensive medicine and by making it safer to institute quality improvement measures.