Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

Symposium: Evolving Medicolegal Concepts 8 articles


Sovereign Immunity: Principles and Application in Medical Malpractice

Michael Suk MD, JD, MPH, FACS

Tort law seeks accountability when parties engage in negligent conduct, and aims to compensate the victims of such conduct. An exception to this general rule governing medical negligence is the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Historically, individuals acting under the authority of the government or other sovereign entity had almost complete protection against tort liability.

Closed Medical Negligence Claims Can Drive Patient Safety and Reduce Litigation

Steven E. Pegalis JD, B. Sonny Bal MD, JD, MBA

Medical liability reform is viewed by many physician groups as a means of reducing medical malpractice litigation and lowering healthcare costs. However, alternative approaches such as closed medical negligence claims data may also achieve these goals.

Beyond the Standard of Care: A New Model to Judge Medical Negligence

Lawrence H. Brenner JD, Alison Tytell Brenner MPH, Eric J. Awerbuch BA, Daniel Horwitz MD

The term “standard of care” has been used in law and medicine to determine whether medical care is negligent. However, the precise meaning of this concept is often unclear for both medical and legal professionals.

Medical Liability of the Physician in Training

Brian Wegman MD, James P. Stannard MD, B. Sonny Bal MD, JD, MBA

Lawsuits alleging medical negligence by postgraduate physicians in training (residents) arise from treatment received by aggrieved patients at teaching hospitals. A threshold question in determining liability is whether or not the standard of care has been violated. Courts have questioned whether the proper standard governing resident physician conduct should be that of a reasonably competent generalist physician, that of a specialty physician, or whether the standard should be some subjective determination that addresses the resident level of training.

What to Disclose? Revisiting Informed Consent

B. Sonny Bal MD, JD, MBA, Theodore J. Choma MD

The requirement of obtaining informed consent before medical procedures is well established. With patients having greater access to information through information technology and owing to other factors, disclosure that goes beyond the traditional elements of the risks, benefits, and alternatives to an intervention is demanded from physicians.

Medical Malpractice Reform: The Role of Alternative Dispute Resolution

David H. Sohn JD, MD, B. Sonny Bal MD, JD, MBA

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to techniques used to resolve conflicts without going to the courtroom. As healthcare and malpractice costs continue to rise, there is growing interest in tactics such as early apology, mediation, and arbitration in the medical arena.

Online Professional Networks for Physicians: Risk Management

Jon L. Hyman MD, Howard J. Luks MD, Randale Sechrest MD

The rapidly developing array of online physician-only communities represents a potential extraordinary advance in the availability of educational and informational resources to physicians. These online communities provide physicians with a new range of controls over the information they process, but use of this social media technology carries some risk.