No-fault malparactice insurance. Proximate cause and the quality of medical care

West J Med. 1975 Mar;122(3):262-70.


No-fault medical malpractice insurance has been proposed as an alternative to the present tort liability approach. Statistical examination of the concept of proximate cause reveals not only that the question of acceptable care, and therefore of fault, is unavoidable in identifying patients deserving compensation, but also that specifying fault in an individual case is scientifically untenable. A simple formula for a Coefficient of Causality clarifies the question of proximate cause in existing trial practices and suggests that many of the threats associated with malpractice suits arise from the structure of the tort-insurance system rather than from professional responsibility for medical injury. The concepts could provide the basis for a revised claims and compensation procedure.

MeSH terms

  • Expert Testimony
  • Insurance, Liability*
  • Malpractice*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Quality of Health Care*