Medical Malpractice Guidelines as Safe Harbors: Illusion or Deceit?

Maxwell J. Mehlman, Case Western University School of Law


The idea that physicians should accept recommendations from learned colleagues on how to practice medicine; is probably as old as medicine itself, but beginning around 1990, it took on new urgency in the face of rising health care costs, widespread, unjustifiable variation in practice patterns, concerns about medical errors and quality of care, and what some perceived to be perverse effects of the malpractice system. One solution put forward was practice guidelines