Defensive Medicine: Myths and Realities
The phenomenon of defensive medicine existed for decades in the United States but in Romania emerged lately following malpractice litigation and mass media aggression. Defensive medicine develops when doctors prescribe tests or procedures and avoid to treat high-risk patients or to perform certain high-risk procedures in order to reduce the risk of medical liability. This essay discusses the basis and principles of defensive medicine, analyses its causes and effects and debates the major problems affecting Romanian healthcare system, notably cross-border medical assistance. Finally, the authors examine alternatives to prevent defensive medicine practices with emphasis on cardiovascular surgery. Among physicians, some degree of defensive medicine will always exist, as long as malpractice risks shadow the doctors’ every footstep.
Keywords: ,,, , medical liability.
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