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Medical Malpractice Law, Morality and the Culture Wars: A Critical Assessment of the Tort Reform Movement

21 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2011  

Frank McClellan

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Tort reform emerged as a major issue in the culture wars during the 2004 presidential election and continues to be a heavily debated issue today. While a community’s sense of social justice should dictate the values used to assess and shape tort law, different communities have widely varying perspectives of social justice. This article reflects on the potential impact of the culture wars on medical malpractice law and litigation and emphasizes the most critical criteria for assessing medical malpractice reform is how well the legal system protects, affirms, and restores the human dignity of both patients and health care providers. The article reasons there is not a one-size fits all medical malpractice tort system, and in order to prioritize human dignity, it is essential to take into account the cultural, social, and religious diversity within America and shift the focus from economic to dignitary priorities. Finally, the article discusses the profound health care consequences of illiteracy and low health literacy.

Keywords: culture wars, medical malpractice, tort reform, health literacy

JEL Classification: K13, K32, K39

Suggested Citation

McClellan, Frank, Medical Malpractice Law, Morality and the Culture Wars: A Critical Assessment of the Tort Reform Movement (2006). Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 1, p. 33-53, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1861330

Frank McClellan (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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