How Medical Assessments Impact Trials’ Outcomes: A Nationwide Study

How Medical Assessments Impact Trials’ Outcomes: A Nationwide Study

 

Title
How Medical Assessments Impact Trials’ Outcomes: A Nationwide Study
Author
Chun-Ying Wu, Tseng-Wei Yang, Rong-Chi Chen
Keywords
Medical Malpractice Litigation, Medical Assessment, Empirical
Study, Medical Injury
Abstract
Medical malpractice litigation involves very professional judgment about negligence
and causality. Therefore, professional medical assessments are essential for
judges to make their sentences. However, how often the judges use the assessment
reports in their cases and how the assessment reports influence the trials remain
unclear in Taiwan. Therefore, we conducted an empirical study based on a nationwide
trial database.
We analyzed 1,917 medical malpractice litigation cases between 2002 and
2010. Among these cases, judges used assessment reports in their cases in 1,295
trials (83.0%). In multivariate analyses, criminal cases (odds ratio, OR=1.98) and
cases with severe injury or death (OR=2.89) were associated with higher chance to
use assessment reports in trials. For outcomes of trials, we found physicians had
higher chance to win the suits if the assessment reports favoring physician (OR=37.72) or in criminal courts (OR=2.64). In stratified multivariate analyses, we
found that if assessment reports did not favor physicians, physicians had about
40% chance to win their trials, which was approximately the same chance as the
consistent rate of negligence in the assessment reports. On the other hand, physicians
still had 6% chance to lose their trials even though the assessment reports did
not find any negligence.
In the present study, we used empirical evidence to prove that medical assessment
reports were highly cited in the medical malpractice litigations, especially
in criminal cases and cases with severe injury or death. Assessment reports favoring
physicians and criminal cases were the two independent factors associated with
higher chance for physicians to win their cases after adjusting other factors.
Abstract Article

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