Ralph Blumenthal writes for The New York Times about a new database that collects information on people who have successfully sued doctors and hospitals for malpractice, allowing physicians to refrain from treating them:
Mr. Dawson said, he was stunned this week to find that his name had been added to a little-known Internet database for doctors attacking "litigious behavior." His offense: filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a Fort Worth hospital and doctor over the death of his 39-year-old wife, whose brain tumor was missed, and winning an undisclosed settlement.
For months, an obscure Texas company run by doctors has been operating a Web site, DoctorsKnow Us.com, that compiles and posts the names of plaintiffs, their lawyers and expert witnesses in malpractice lawsuits in Texas and beyond, regardless of the merit of the claim.
The American Medical Association said that it had just learned of the group and that it saw no ethical issues at stake. "There's no question that physicians are totally frustrated by the relentless assault on the medical profession by trial lawyers," said Dr. William G. Plested, chairman of the A.M.A.'s board of trustees and a cardiovascular surgeon in Santa Monica, Calif
If the AMA sees no ethical problems with people like Dawson being blacklisted and being unable to get medical care for his son, it's because they have lost their moral compass. People are being blacklisted regardless of why they have sued and won. It's one thing to be hesitant to treat a person who sues everyone for no good reason, but quite another when the person going without treatment is someone who has been seriously harmed and who had good reasons to sue. There is no oversight of this, no way to appeal being included, and apparently no way to deal with someone being added by mistake.
I wouldn't want to be ill while in Texas - I don't think that the doctors there can be trusted to do the right thing by their patients.