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Legal Responses to Medical Error

Legal Responses to Medical Error: Beyond Medical Malpractice It is estimated that upwards of 400,000 Americans die every year in hospitals because of medical error. The traditional legal response to this problem has been a tort action claiming medical malpractice. The tort remedy is, however, a dying breed. Both the number of claims and total recoveries have been in steep decline over the past twenty years. The questions that the seminar will consider are why the tort remedy has failed to deter medical error and what alternatives might be available. Remedies to be considered will include error reporting requirements, financial incentives for safety, increased government surveillance of medical care, and enhanced utilization of technology to improve safety (including artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented use of electronic health records (EHR)). The course will require that each student write a paper addressing one or another potential legal response to the challenge of medical error.

Grading and Method of Evaluation:
Letter Grade Only. A paper of approximately 25 pages in length analyzing a case other than those studied in class is required. Can satisfy UCWR and be taken for 3 credits with permission of the professor.