Miss Diagnosis: Gendered Injustice in Medical Malpractice Law

Plaza, Cecilia

Women patients have experienced a history of discrimination in medical practice. Medical malpractice litigation offers an avenue for patients affected by practitioner negligence to recoup the costs inflicted by their injuries. The present study investigates the impact of patient gender on plaintiffs’ recovery amounts in medical malpractice suits alleging delayed, wrongful, or misdiagnosis, as women are more vulnerable to diagnosisrelated malpractice. This study also analyzes the impact of contextual factors such as state demographics, state malpractice legislation, and features of each instance of litigation, such as the duration of each case. Using a national database of resolved malpractice cases from 2004 to 2018, this study uses several different statistical models to shed light on the contours of the gender gap in medical malpractice litigation. This study also offers suggestions for future research and potential solutions to address the gender gap and increase equal access to legal recourse after medical injury due to negligence for patients of all genders.

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Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

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July 22, 2020