Today’s Washington Times has a commentary post by a person who claims the title of “doctor,” Dr. Jason D. Fodeman.  I say that because the writer addresses the high costs of so-called “defensive medicine,” in a manner so robotic and lacking in humanity that it is difficult to believe such a person has devoted his life to healing people.

Whether a doctor, or just another conservative ghost writer, you know he’s a hack by the phrases he uses. In one modest post, we are charmed to see “tort mafia,” “jackpot justice” and, my favorite by far, “pesky lawyers.”  Do you suspect that this man of the healing arts might have a political agenda?

To sum up his point: doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine, distracting them from the more important things at hand, by amoral, parasitic trial lawyers who force them to cover themselves in anticipation of out-of-control medical malpractice suits.

Interestingly, the good doctor appears to have forgotten how useful we pesky trial lawyers can be to his colleagues and him.  Here’s a little reminder. When the US health insurers you relied on for much of your salary began shortchanging you, your premier professional organization, the AMA, hand-in-hand with numerous state medical societies, retained us trial lawyers to go after those insurance companies.  I guess money can be quite the motivating factor for you, huh Doc?  And, darn it, I still can’t quite get the difference in spelling between Hippocratic and hypocritical!

Anyway, Doc, I’m a little surprised that an educated professional like yourself would leave out the “other reason” for skyrocketing defensive medicine costs: you doctors–you know, the ones who decide which extra tests are necessary, and how often to order them–enjoy lining your own pockets with the extra cash generated by these extra tests.  Could that have something to do with those high costs?

But the clearest lapse in your post is the failure to mention, even once, the victims of medical errors, who are injured and sometimes killed by medical malpractice.  There is a “cost” there too, Doc, but one that was not important enough for you to write about.

We’re here to listen.

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