One of the most difficult parts of any medical negligence case is to diffuse the jury’s “benevolent doctor” belief.
The Benevolent Doctor Belief
Most jurors have an overwhelmingly positive opinion of doctors. They admire doctors. They tend to regard doctors with a sense of awe.
The reasons for their feelings about doctors are somewhat understandable. After all, doctors care for the sick and injured. Most of us would pat ourselves on the back if our child grew up to be a physician. Many of us know someone whose life was saved or greatly improved because of a doctor’s care. And, as patients, it may seem that doctors are these all-knowing beings with the power to diagnose and cure our illnesses.
One result of the overwhelmingly positive view that jurors have of doctors is their sympathy will favor doctors in a medical malpractice case. The defendant doctor, in a medical malpractice case, begins the game having already scored points. This is unfortunate, because it disadvantages injured plaintiffs.
We need a more balanced view of doctors.
A Balanced View of Doctors Is What’s Needed
I will be the first to say that the great majority of doctors are good people, dedicated, intelligent, compassionate, and deeply concerned with doing a good job at work. However, the pedestal upon which juries place doctors should be eyed with suspicion.
The reality is that doctors are humans like the rest of us, and they make errors. They make lots of errors. In a 2010 study “Burnout and medical errors among American surgeons,” nine percent of surgeons (out of close to eight thousand asked) stated they had made a major medical error in just the last three months.
The reality is that while it’s true that members of medical profession save lives, it’s equally true that they lose lives, and limbs, and organs. While it is true that the medical profession is a place of great triumphs, it’s equally true that the profession is a place of unexpected tragedies.
Nonetheless, a reality that must be reckoned with is that, for individuals to get justice for injuries they’ve suffered due to the negligence of a doctor, the jury’s sympathetic feelings toward doctors must be defused.
If you believe you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a doctor, you should seek the help of an attorney as soon as possible.
If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.