Medical Malpractice

  • Marshall B. Kapp
Reference work entry

There are many forms of legal regulation of medical practice and its practitioners. Among other legal mechanisms, there are state professional licensing and disciplinary statutes and regulations, mandatory oversight by peer review organizations, federal and state parameters on drug and device prescribing, and financial and quality of care audits by public and private third-party payers. Statutory and regulatory requirements for hospitals and other health care provider institutions and agencies also exert a direct impact on medical practice. One of the most significant mechanisms for regulating physician behavior in the United States is the private civil tort system that encompasses individual professional liability/medical malpractice lawsuits brought by, or on behalf of, patients against their professional caregivers.

A relatively small number of medical malpractice claims are predicated on a theory of violation of contract. In such litigation, the patient/plaintiff claims that an...


Health Care Institution Medical Malpractice Malpractice Case Malpractice Lawsuit Vicarious Liability 
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Suggested Reading

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    Bell, P. A., & O’Connell, J. (1997). Accidental justice: The dilemmas of tort law. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boumil, M. M., & Elias, C. E. (1995). The law of medical liability in a nutshell. St. Paul, MN: West.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Danzon, P. M. (1985). Medical malpractice: Theory, evidence, and public policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
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    Kapp, M. B. (1990). The American medical malpractice system: Impediments to effective change. International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 1, 239–254.Google Scholar
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    Law, S. A., & Polan, S. (1978). Pain and profit: The politics of malpractice. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
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    McClellan, F. (1994). Medical malpractice: Law, tactics, and ethics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall B. Kapp

There are no affiliations available