Our Fears and Plaintiff Attorneys
Recently, the AMA discussed the issue of allowing some physicians the right to avoid non-emergent care to professional plaintiff malpractice attorneys. Coincidentally, a plaintiff attorney just learned I no longer accept new malpractice plaintiff attorneys into my practice. His severe fatigue and cognitive fogginess was due to excess indoor Penicillium and Aspergillus in his previously flooded home, together with a Cyanobacteria toxin from his regular boating on a lake.
His illness made him unable to accept new clients. He mentioned the national media discussions on physicians refusing to offer elective treatment to malpractice plaintiff attorneys, and assumed I would be horrified at this option, since I am his caring doctor. He was markedly stunned to hear, "I no longer treat malpractice attorneys--only in emergencies."
And then I saw the fear in his eyes.
I just happened to be editing a book on biotoxic illness and was able to diagnose his "idiopathic" disease. He had little hope of regaining health when he came for a consult. We felt "lucky" for his "good circumstances."
You would probably like him. Yet he has no insight into a physician's life and the fear caused by his many malpractice cases. He is still treated by many fine doctors. They smile at him, as if nothing is wrong, but tell me they are slowly being crushed into an emotional heap by malpractice suites. In being bonded to these physicians, it is certain their fears are incomprehensible to him. He never wonders if today a sheriff will come with a malpractice suit. He has no fear of a serious insurance error bringing to bear the weight of a Superpower. He does not wonder when his name in shame will be in the paper. He has no severe chronic pain patients, so he will never have a medical state board investigation. He has no fear of being regulated, coded and monitored into creative death.
Finally, his energy for his vocation and the "pay off" contrasts with some colleagues, physicians hating their vocation and losing a love of medicine. Some retire early or open up non-medical businesses. A rare few sue their inept malpractice defense attorneys. Others look to invest in real estate. They fear having money problems like some older physicians.
Some AMA members may forget dignity is an international human right that applies to physicians. A raped therapist does not have to treat rapists. An elderly tattooed Jewish tailor does not have to fit a suit for a former SS officer. Neither should he be forced to listen to vile justifications.
As the son of a Neurosurgeon from Pennsylvania, after decades as a spectator, I believe in the need for more aggressive tactics. We are done waiting. No years till change. It must happen now. We are allowed to withdrawal our arms rather than give our last pint of blood. We are allowed to challenge the sadist's game. We can regain our liberty and end our slavery. We are not for sale, and even we are protected from "cruel and unusual punishments" (Bill of Rights, Article 7).
Some physicians feel some inconvenience may enlighten malpractice plaintiff attorneys. Let him feel what it's like to travel 50 miles, as pregnant OB patients do, to get routine care because of his irresponsible, unconscionable conduct and shenanigans.
When one of you is attacked unfairly by anti-medicine forces, I share in your loss of liberty, in a strong and unexpectedly intense connection. Therefore, I can no longer ignore anti-physician players who profit from the slow crushing of qualified caring physicians. I will not casually watch their emotional and vocational deaths, by electively treating the ones that accuse, fight and torture us.
An Anonymous Physician