The American Fear of Being Sued

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The American Fear of Being Sued Something basic has been stolen from American life. We have lost much of our individual freedom due to the theft in our society. Our thieves come in the form of "sue happy" Americans. Doctors are paranoid, teachers are weakened and religious consultation is decreased. You would have to be a fool to say what you really think in the workplace. Increasingly, people believe that they cannot make a difference. Today, the medical industry has been transformed. Doctors must live by a different code of ethics other than their oath. Legal fear has put the doctor-patient relationship in jeopardy. Today, physicians view patients as potential malpractice litigants. Therefore, doctors order unnecessary costly tests or avoid treating patients to insure safety from lawsuits. In Chicago, emergency room personnel refused to care for a boy who was shot, and had collapsed thirty feet outside the hospital door, because their legal duties were only to those inside. Because of the fear of lawsuits, the young boy was denied the opportunity to live. Not only are doctor-patient relationships affected, teachers and students are learning under precise laws. Teachers no longer have the opportunity to discipline their students in fear of violating the student's rights. Students now dictate how classrooms are instructed. Teachers must be aware of their physical contact and ethical topics that can lead into false allegations. How can a student learn in this environment? Teachers need the ability to discipline students. Evicting the fear of lawsuits from teachers makes for a more productive atmosphere. The classroom is not the only place where safety and responsibility are weakened. Playgrounds have been... ... middle of paper ... ...nger acceptable. Our beliefs will not matter until we let those with responsibility act on their beliefs. What good is a teacher if they cannot discipline their class? What help is a doctor if they are making decisions that are foreign to them? Individualism and responsibility need to be reinserted into society. Let us be more attentive to our own actions and less of others. I leave you with this statement from Phillip K. Howard, "Remove a judge's authority to assert views of what is right and reasonable, and the entire society starts acting like a nervous wreck." Bibliography: Howard, K Phillip. "Americans sue over everything. And guess who's paying the price?" Rosie Oct. 2001: 40 "Fear (in common law)." Catholic Encyclopedia.com. 1999. The New Advent, Volume IV. 1 Sept. 1909 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06020b.htm

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