Many workers in medicine, healthcare administration, science, and technology, no matter how strong their academic degrees or how distinguished their careers, find themselves baffled, frustrated, and even angered by their encounters with the law. Some of those occasions may lead to the need for a lawyer. But many of the bafflements and frustrations arise from ignorance about what the law is, including how it operates.
Over more than a half century of inquiry into the relations between law and science, and through numerous conversations with physicians, scientists, and healthcare professionals whose work rests on technological development, the author realized that they often desire more knowledge about the operations of the law and the legal system. This book seeks to provide basic knowledge about the law in realms where these professionals often encounter it, primarily in areas where activities pose risks of personal injury.
This book discusses two basic types of law: civil litigation and other remedies afforded to persons who ascribe injuries to the conduct or product of others, and direct regulation by the government of the levels of safety in those areas. Principal practical applications of this knowledge lie in ways to minimize risk, both in the primary sense and in efforts to avoid litigation over injuries, and in how to present arguments about policy to government officials who write laws and regulations.
Introduction. Different Cultures, Different Lenses. Various Approaches to the Legal System. Institutional Backgrounds. Regulation. Tort Law Generally. Information About Risk and Assumption of Risk. Medical Maloccurrences. The Duty/Proximate Cause Problem. Scientific Evidence. Tort Reform. Statutory Compensation Systems. Conclusion.