Adverse Events, Stress and Litigation: A Guidebook for Physicians

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What is it like to be sued for medical malpractice? Bad medical outcomes traumatize patients but they also traumatize physicians. The litigation that often follows is a profoundly human, rather than just a legal experience. Although every physician's case is different, this book shows how each case goes through the same judicial stages of complaint, discovery, depositions, motions, and delays that lead to trial, settlement, or being dropped. It also gives doctors an understanding of how lawyers think and work to help defendants. Written by a physician and a lawyer, the book provides unique insights - through real-life stories - into the personal experience of litigation as well as recommendations for dealing with each of the legal process. It also includes up-to-date reviews of HIPAA legislation, the controversial subject of disclosure, and recent developments in the law affecting medical practitioners. Only about thirty percent of plaintiffs win their cases against doctors, but the journey from bedside to witness stand tests both the personal character and the professional skills of those accused. This well-documented book will help doctors understand and navigate the legal system while honoring their own ideals and emerging changed but stronger from the experience.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is the ultimate resoruce for physicians facing litigation...excellent case histories."—Doody's Book Review Service

"The book educates physicians about the legal steps they can expect and provides information on how lawyers think and work to help defendants. The book also covers the controversial topic of disclosure."—ACOG Clinical Review

"This book is a prime example of a book about which many will say. 'I wish I read this book before!' It is well written, thoughtful, and full of practical advice."—Annals of Clinical Psychiatry

"The sentinel work on the management of litigation stress, Charles and Frisch's Physician's Guide: Adverse Events, Stress and Litigation teaches that in certain predisposed physicians, such as those with preexisting trauma or depression, severe or prolonged stress reactions to litigation are more likely...seems more complete, better balanced, and more immediately useful to physicians experiencing litigation stress."—JAMA

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This is a timely exploration into the often stressing reality of litigation in medicine and the effects on physicians. The book provides a resource for physicians to turn to when they are forced to enter unfamiliar territory.
Purpose: The purpose is to be a resource for physicians facing litigation and to explore the human reactions to adverse events, the lawsuits which may follow, the emotional and legal demands, and practical and supportive advice on how physicians can maintain professional and personal integrity. Considering today's legal arena, this book meets its objectives and is very timely.
Audience: Intended for physicians, this book may also be useful to other professionals who may be affected by lawsuits such as psychologists, nurses, etc. There may also be benefit to providing this type of training in medical school, not as a warning, but as a primer. The authors are well-versed in their respective fields — law and medicine.
Features: The book is the ultimate resource and a guiding hand for those facing litigation. True standouts are the appendixes which give excellent case histories and present a diary of a physician who was involved in a lawsuit. The exploration of law and the ever-important discussion of human emotion throughout the book are important. The book is a step-by-step primer for the physician to become acquainted with unfamiliar territory.
Assessment: Well-written, easy-to-follow, and a rather unique addition to the medical legal field. Highly recommended!

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195171488
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Illinois (Emerita)

Oregon Medical Association

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Table of Contents

Prologue — Four Days in the Nineties
1. Adverse Events: A Basis for Litigation
2. Adverse Events: What We Feel and Why
3. Disclosure After an Adverse Event
4. Adverse Events: What Doctors Can Say about Them
5. The Interim: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
6. The Complaint: A Prelude to Litigation
7. Meeting the Lawyers
8. Coping With the Stress of Litigation
9. Discovery: Gaining a Foothold for the Defense of our claim
10. To Settle or not to Settle
11. The Trial
12. Case Over: What's Next
13. Closing Arguments
Appendix: 1. Case Histories
Appendix: 2. Notes on a Case

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