Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Alternative Medicine

CAM and Malpractice

20 years, 3 months ago

8391  0
Posted on Nov 07, 2003, 12 p.m. By Bill Freeman

Medical Malpractice Less Frequent inComplementary and Alternative Medicine Although the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the U.S. is growing, little is known about the medical malpractice implications of CAM in relation to conventional medicine. In response, a recent study sought to determine the frequency of medical malpractice claims against chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths, and a variety of other CAM professionals.

Medical Malpractice Less Frequent in
Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Although the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the U.S. is growing, little is known about the medical malpractice implications of CAM in relation to conventional medicine. In response, a recent study sought to determine the frequency of medical malpractice claims against chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths, and a variety of other CAM professionals. The results of this study concluded that claims against CAM professionals occurred much less often than claims against conventional medical doctors. In addition, the types of injuries that were typically involved in the claims against CAM professionals were far less severe than in the claims filed against conventional medical doctors.

The best explanation for the infrequency and lower severity of claims against CAM professionals involves the nature of CAM therapies. It has been concluded that as the invasiveness of a therapy increases, the potential for medical injury also increases. Due to the fact that most CAM therapies are significantly less invasive than conventional medical therapies, fewer medical malpractice claims are filed against CAM professionals.

While the majority of U.S. citizens still visit conventional medical doctors, it is important to keep in mind that these same doctors are responsible for 95% of medical malpractice claims. Although the use of conventional medicine is often unavoidable, CAM therapies offer a safe, noninvasive, and effective option for many health problems.

References

Studdert DM, Eisenberg DM, Miller FH, et al. Medical malpractice implications of alternative medicine. JAMA 1998;280(18):1610-15.
Brennan TA, Leape LL, Laird NM, et al. Incidence of adverse events and negligence in hospitalized patients: results of the Harvard medical practice study I. N Engl J Med 1991;324(6):370-76.

WorldHealth Videos