Medical Malpractice as an Urgent Health Care Issue

What is often lost in the debate about our nation’s healthcare system is the devastating effects medical errors and medical malpractice have on individuals, their families, and the community at large. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. Unlike many other causes of death, medical malpractice is preventable and often involves communication failures, improper diagnoses, and inadequate or tardy treatment. Transparency and proper reporting are key to resolving these errors and preventing them in the future. Yet, too many healthcare institutions fail to address these errors in a fashion that would benefit the patient and improve the overall quality of healthcare. Yes, this is an urgent healthcare issue and will only get worse if it’s ignored.