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In 1985, the Illinois State Medical Society reported that five times as many malpractice suits were filed that year as had been five years previously. The report argued that this steep increase posed a risk to the consumer as well as the physician, as it resulted in expensive 'defensive medicine', or tests ordered by doctors not because they are in the best interest of the patient, but rather to protect from liability. The increase in lawsuits also created higher premiums for malpractice insurance, which in turn drove up the cost of patient care. However, attorneys at the time argued that restricting the circumstances of malpractice suits risked protecting doctors who were genuinely guilty of patient endangerment. Eventually, the Illinois Congress passed the Illinois Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 1985, which created panels specifically for handling malpractice cases and limited attorney fees in an attempt to reduce strain on Illinois physicians.
Sebota, Lenore. (1985, May 19). "Medical malpractice reform can't cure all ills". The Pantagraph. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/image/72943151/.
"H.R.2659 - Medical Malpractice Reform Act of 1985" Congress.gov. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/99th-congress/house-bill/2659?overview=closed.