Tulsa World reported that there is a national database of medical malpractice data that the public is unable to fully access. The database is maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and includes about 460,000 records of malpractice lawsuits. However, the public can only view the lawsuit’s allegations and the patient’s health, while the remaining information is only open to hospitals, managed care organizations, and state licensing agencies.
The American Medical Association believes the information should remain private because it is unreliable. Supposedly, data is often submitted late and some of the information is untrue or misleading. The AMA argues that it is a flawed program. However, many individuals believe that this is just a way to protect doctors. The information should be available to the public because people have a right to know if their physician has been involved in a medical malpractice claim. Medical professionals need to be held accountable and potential patients should not be kept in the dark. If the patient is able to obtain this information he or she can then question their doctor about it and make an informed decision as to whether they wish to remain under the doctor’s care.
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