Deal W. Hudson
May 30, 2007
A historical survey is underway to study the medical malpractice rates of pro-life physicians.
If those physicians prove to have lower malpractice rates it could lead to lower insurance premiums and lower costs for their patients.
It also means that pro-life physicians could provide a set of best practices for use in hospitals and healthcare systems everywhere.
K&B Underwriters, experts in eldercare and medical malpractice insurance in Reston, Virginia are testing the hypothesis that physicians who practice medicine within a “Culture of Life” framework have fewer medical malpractice claims than their colleagues.
To test this premise they initiated a survey on their website www.kbunderwriters.com. Thus far over 400 physicians from 47 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have completed the survey. The respondents represent 85 specialties and sub-specialties of medicine. Completed surveys are continuing to come in, and so far the results firmly attest to lower malpractice losses among pro-life physicians.
The initial results are stunning.
Pro-life physicians taking the survey have an average loss rate of 20 cents per dollar of premiums collected compared with an average of 81.4 cents in loss per dollar of premiums collected from all physicians. These results are from a 2007 report by the A. M. Best Co.
That’s more than a 75% difference in malpractice losses!
K&B Underwriters are hoping that the pro-life community will encourage more physicians to participate. If enough data can be collected and the present results hold steady then insurance companies may consider lowering medical malpractice premiums for these physicians. Lower costs could then be passed along to patients with the result that an industry struggling to hold down expenses will have found an answer in the moral practices of its practitioners.
Bryan Baird, founder, and president of K&B Underwriters explains: “Medical malpractice premiums for physicians are calculated based on the statistical likelihood that physicians, in general, will have lawsuits filed against them. Unfortunately, accidents happen to the best doctors. We believe, however, that physicians who respect human life from conception to natural death are more likely to bring a positive outcome out of a bad situation. If proven true, we will have found a way to establish a new standard of medical care that supports the Hippocratic Oath ‘to do no harm.’”
The industry is beginning to take note of the impact of religious belief on medical practices. Recent reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Apr. 9, 2007) and the New England Journal of Medicine (Feb. 8, 2007) have noted a high percentage of physicians practice their profession according to religious beliefs. The Archives of Internal Medicine reported that 88% of respondents to a recent survey are religiously affiliated, and 85% of respondents are influenced by religion. (Those numbers indicate that physicians as a group are more religious than the population in general.)
More information can be found in the “Culture of Life White Paper” at www.kbunderwriters.com. Physicians who believe in respecting human life from conception to natural death are encouraged to take the online survey.