Last month’s lawsuit by a Birmingham man claiming his penis was partially amputated during a circumcision brings attention to the on-going problems related to medical negligence. The American Medical Association recognizes that medical negligence is the third largest cause of death in the United States, following only heart disease and cancer in causes of death in the United States.
Between 2003 and 2013, adverse action was taken against over 10,100 providers for violations and there were 827 medical malpractice payments made to victims of medical negligence in Alabama alone. (http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/resources/npdbstats/npdbStatistics.jsp). Nationwide, adverse action was taken against 377,081 providers and medical malpractice payments were made to 160,619 victims of medical negligence. (http://www.npdb.hrsa.gov/resources/npdbstats/npdbStatistics.jsp).
Even with those alarming statistics, a lot of those claims are against the same doctors. A 1990 study by the National Practitioner Data Bank found that just 5.1 percent of doctors account for more than half of all medical malpractice payouts. Of the 35,000 doctors who had two or more malpractice payouts, only 7.6 percent of them were disciplined. More strikingly, only 13 percent of doctors with five medical malpractice payouts have ever been disciplined. (http://www.medmalfacts.com/facts-and-myths/)