Columbia Public Law & Legal Theory Working Papers

Document Type



ACCOUNTABILITY: PATIENT SAFETY AND POLICY REFORM, Virginia A. Sharpe, ed., Georgetown University Press, 2004, Copyright.


Health care providers have strong feelings about medical malpractice litigation, feelings that often seem at odds with measurable characteristics of the malpractice system. These (mis)perceptions influence the delivery of health care, and are therefore socially important notwithstanding their subjectivity. This speculative essay traces such paradoxes of malpractice policy to the concept of reputation, examining both historical trends and potential future developments such as enterprise liability.

Date of Authorship for this Version

June 2005


medical malpractice, physician, tort, reputation, norms