Medical Malpractice Law, Morality and the Culture Wars: A Critical Assessment of the Tort Reform Movement
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 1, p. 33-53, 2006
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: culture wars, medical malpractice, tort reform, health literacy
JEL Classification: K13, K32, K39
Date posted: June 11, 2011