Justice Has (Almost) Nothing to Do With It: Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform

David A Hyman, Charles Silver

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the costs and contributions of the current legal framework for seeking justice to remedy medical malpractice. Patients injured by medical treatment or misdiagnosis can sue for malpractice. To recover damages, plaintiffs must prove "negligence"-that is, that their providers failed to exercise due care. The plaintiff must establish four elements of a tort lawsuit: duty, breach, proximate cause, and damages. The chapter first considers problems with the current malpractice system, including injustices to individuals who are unable to mount effective litigation when they are victims of malpractice. It then discusses what justice requires for handling cases of negligent injury and evaluates the performance of the legal system against that standard, and whether popular tort reforms are moving the legal system closer to or further from the standard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine and Social Justice
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on the Distribution of Health Care
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780190267551
ISBN (Print)9780199744206
StatePublished - Sep 13 2012


  • Damages
  • Justice
  • Medical malpractice
  • Negligence
  • Negligent injury
  • Proximate cause
  • Tort lawsuit
  • Tort reforms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Justice Has (Almost) Nothing to Do With It: Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this