June 15, 2009
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
Re: Obama Open To Reining In Medical Suits: Bargaining Chip Seen in Health Overhaul, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Robert Pear, A1, June 15, 2009
Dear Madam or Sir:
In the June 15, 2009 edition of The New York Times, President Obama reportedly seeks to immunize doctors from medical malpractice lawsuits if they adhere to standard guidelines. From the perspective of a LASIK malpractice lawyer, it is a dumb idea.
First, who will draft the guidelines? Following a $7.25 Million LASIK malpractice verdict in 2005, seven LASIK surgeons drafted a White Paper to promulgate such guidelines for LASIK surgery, to ensure that no such verdict would be duplicated. In the process, they obliterated a decade of medical knowledge and claimed there were no standards. They did not do so in the interest of medicine, but explicitly to dampen the “considerable anxiety” among their fellow refractive surgeons following the verdict.
Second, who will serve as the administrative referees? In a case last week, one seemingly qualified eye doctor actually admitted that his version of the Hippocratic Oath actually meant, in part, “First, harm no ophthalmologist.”
Third, if the profession is incapable of throwing out serial offenders now, who will address this issue later? In President Obama’s hometown of Chicago, Dr. Nicholas Caro has been sued more than 40 times. Still, he performs LASIK surgery.
Fourth, why would doctors want to trade in their judgment to follow guidelines like robots? The best defense of any medical malpractice claim is the doctor’s exercise of his sound professional judgment.
If the SEC could not protect us from Bernie Madoff, why should the public be comfortable having a similar bureaucracy created to dispense “justice” to victims of medical malpractice?
Todd J. Krouner
For more information regarding LASIK surgery and LASIK medical malpractice, please visit http://www.krounerlaw.com/ or call 914-238-5800.