Firstly to start off by defining defensive medicine, defensive medicine is the use of medical practices to avoid personal liability to the patients, more than treating the patient’s medical condition. Doctors might use high and unnecessary diagnostic procedures that might be in response to avoiding future malpractice liability to themselves. Not backing themselves on self-learned knowledge through experience, doctors rely heavily on medical tests, and other diagnostic procedures. All these procedure become expensive for the patients. In essence, defensive medicine can be expensive.
Sometimes doctors can avoid trouble unto themselves, by prescribing something that will give the patient temporary alleviation. By doing this, the doctor is not attending to the core root of the problem, and taking medical steps to solve that. Instead, the doctor might opt for the safer route, by using defensive medicine strategies. Doctors fear medical malpractice more than anything else. Medical malpractice is nothing but incompetence.
When confronted with a complicated medical condition, doctors might stop using their creative discretion abilities to conquer the root cause of the problem, fearing that any experimental or subjective analysis might go wrong, and put them at liability.
Defensive medicine is probably the reason for expensive healthcare systems in the United States and some of the other developed nations. Medical malpractice lawsuits keep doctors and physicians on their toes. Putting away slack of medical service, medical malpractice litigations are a boon for patients who want quality medical diagnosis and treatment.
Often, medical insurance in some of the developed nations will cover defensive medicine costs.
Medical malpractice, though a very sternly worded term, is quite common. Lack of knowledge in the medical circles, plus a very defensive approach by doctors has led to this. The medical community has a lot of inexperienced and timid doctors who fail to rely on their experience, and instead burden the patients to conduct unnecessary blood tests, and urine analysis. Patients have often complained of a doctor sending them for a blood test, when the situation looks like a common cold that would just require the prescription of a pill. All these cases smack of defensive medicine.