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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318198a65e
Current Commentary

A Proposed Model for Managing Cases of Neurologically Impaired Infants

Berkowitz, Richard L. MD1; Hankins, Gary MD2; Waldman, Richard MD3; Montalto, Donna MPP4; Moore, Kathryn5

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Abstract

The current mechanism for obtaining financial support for families with neurologically impaired infants is seriously flawed. It relies on payment awarded through the tort system based on a claim that medical negligence was responsible for the infant’s condition. The system is extraordinarily inefficient and expensive, as well as being unfair to many families with affected children and to physicians who are unjustly accused of contributing to outcomes they could not have prevented. Furthermore, the exorbitant malpractice premiums necessary to support the system are threatening the future of obstetric practice in the United States. This article describes a two-pronged program designed to correct these inequities and to assess each case for the occurrence of medical negligence, which has been submitted to the New York State legislature as a proposed bill entitled the Neurologically Impaired Program for New York State (S7748).

© 2009 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

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