Maryland doctors are finally starting to shrug under the weight of the current tort system. Apparently about 50 doctors have canceled elective procedures for a number of days to protest skyrocketing malpractice premiums. (hat tip: Club for Growth)
What struck me is not necessarily the doctors' actions, which are representative of the state of mind of doctors across the country, but the whiny reaction:
"Actually what they`re doing is going against their doctor`s oath. The patient is more important than malpractice insurance and they have to realize that," said Washington County Hospital patient Brian Levasser.
Remember, these doctors have stopped doing elective surgeries. So Mr. Levasser's penis enlargement or whatever will have to wait a few days. He sounds just like Kip Chalmers on the train in Atlas Shrugged.
OK, here is something Mr. Levasser can try: Go to work each day, work long hours, and do your absolute best in a critical profession. Then, each day, just before you go home, roll three dice. If the result is anything but 1-1-1, go home, have a beer, and relax with your family. However, on that unlucky day when you roll three ones, you lose everything - your job, your house, your savings, your reputation and your ability to work again in your chosen profession. Note that you lose everything not because you did a bad job, but because something unlucky but inevitable happened (e.g. child born with a birth defect) and you were the one standing closest. On the day after you rolled that 1-1-1 and lost everything, tell me malpractice insurance isn't important.
Doctors used to be the people we looked up to and admired, the pillars of society; now, we treat them like galley slaves. We keep you alive to serve this patient. So operate well and live.
(By the way, I am sympathetic to the first comment on the Club for Growth post. Those of us in general business can sometimes get frustrated that doctors seem to be able to get attention on their frivolous suits where the rest of us cannot. But I refuse the begrudge them that, and wish them well)