Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Goodbye Senator Edwards

Charming and disarming as is Senator John Edwards - and as strongly as he may hold sway over the South, he has lost me.
Today's Boston Globe reveals exactly how he was "defending the rights of children against the giant corporations" in his illustrious and lucrative legal career. Of course when he said "giant corporations", I thought of giant corporations. I did not think of hospitals as giant corporations and certainly not doctors. But this seems to have been the thrust of the Edwards legal career, if the Globe is to be believed. And this cuts sharply across my moral grain. It is not that doctors don't owe a responsibility of due care to their patients - but, however much we may wish it otherwise, medicine is an approximate art. Mistakes are made, especially in the perilously stressful business of childbirth.

It is these very litigations and the claims for outrageous damages which have so damaged the medical system. It has made doctors shy away from obstetrics. It is creating a shortage of obsetricians. It has made hospitals wary of obstetrics - and it has made medical insurances leap through the roof. It has added to the costs we must pay for medicine. It threatens the very future of medicine and the healthcare of society - ironically, issues which Edwards promotes on his campaign platform. Talk about having your cake and eating it, too!

I think the lawyers behind these squillion-dollar claims, claims for more money than any mortal ever would need, should, in turn, pay damages - retribution to the system and to the rest of society.
Of course they take a hearty cut, up to 40 per cent says the Globe, of the damages awarded. Which explains how the millworker's son is now a millionaire.
Oh no - I could never support such a predator. However handsome and earnest he seems.

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