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Background: More doctors are practising defensive medicine, which may have an impact on patient care. This paper explores the consequences and reasons, for the widespread trend, and recommendations for patient-focused clinical care.
Objective: A malpractice suit is the most scarring ordeal that a physician can undergo emotionally and financially. Excessive investigations may be counterproductive. Avoiding certain procedures or patients, for the fear of adverse outcome can be hazardous. There is a need for a better, discerning and judicious system, to minimise the trauma to the largely conscientious and dedicated medical professionals.
How and when the term defensive medicine started, is difficult to trace. However, over the past few decades, it seems to be a well-known practice in industrialised countries. It may have been due to increasing complaints against doctors heralding potential litigation and malpractice suit. Most doctors do not take the privilege of the trust of their patients lightly and respond to it with utmost sincerity.
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