Since it is assumed lawyers are unethical, ethics is an integral part of the law school curriculum. By the time law students graduate from law school they are keenly aware that not reporting unethical behavior is itself a breach of the ethical duty all lawyers have. I do not know whether that is true for doctors as well. A new study published on December 4, 2007, in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests there is a disconnect between doctors’ own ethics and their practices. The disconnect may be the result of fear of malpractice lawsuits, but that fear is not the concern of injured patients, injured patients’ families, or malpractice lawyers. The disconnect should be the concern of medical malpractice insurance carriers who should be seeking to uncover doctors who violate standards of care. The medical malpractice insurers’ best hope is doctors reporting doctors.
For an article discussing the study click here.