Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Medical Malpractice Courts

Ann Althouse brought this to my attention: Via the NYT:

“New York State is ... creating a homelessness court, domestic violence courts and mental health courts. Backed by the state's chief judge, and bolstered by the court system's own research, these new courts are, among other things, trying to cut down on the number of people who appear in courtrooms over and over again.Judges - who in law school may have mastered the rules of procedure or the penal code - are now meant to know about the science of addiction, the pathology of wife batterers, the bureaucracy of welfare programs...."It's a very important new revolution" in the way courts work, said Bruce J. Winick, a former city health official who is now an academic expert on what he calls "therapeutic jurisprudence."And while New York and California are at the forefront of this movement, there are now hundreds of such courts nationwide, from Hartford to Honolulu, addressing problems like drug abuse and drunken driving; Anchorage opened a court last year dedicated to dealing with the problems of veterans”.

Interesting, especially in light of the recent proposal to create special medical malpractice courts. Do the folks at NYS actually believe that medicine is less complicated than understanding the common problems of homelessness? the science of addiction? C'mon.

I guess it’s a step in the right direction. But really, if they don’t come around real soon, well, that’s just a slap in the face.