HomeNews Legal Representation The Canadian Medical Protective Association’s Impact on Medical Malpractice in Ontario
Nov 11, 2021 in News --> Legal Representation
Plaintiff-side medical malpractice cases are very difficult to win in Canada. Each one requires the expertise not only of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, but also of various expert witnesses.
Even experienced law firms with track records of success in medical malpractice claims, like Neinstein LLP, face challenges. One of the primary sources of those challenges is the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), a non-profit organization that provides legal advice and assistance to physician’s accused of negligence. We’ve talked about the CMPA before. But a recent article in Canadian Lawyer magazine has provided an opportunity to revisit the organization and its impact on medical malpractice claims.
What Does the CMPA Do?
In its own words, the CMPA is a ‘not-for-profit, mutual defence association,’ governed by a council of physicians representing members nationwide, that ‘provides advice and assistance when medico-legal difficulties arise, and resources to help manage risk and contribute to safe medical care.’ From the perspective of a medical malpractice lawyer, the CMPA is not only the organization that funds doctors’ defences, but also the source of settlement payments for plaintiffs.
In the Canadian Lawyer article, CMPA associate CEO Dr. Todd Watkins expanded on the organization’s role, saying that it primarily defends accused physicians that provided ‘medically defensible care.’
“If the standard of care was met, the integrity and reputation of the member will be defended against the claim,” Watkins explained. “However, if experts conclude the standard of care was not met, and this failure harmed the patient, appropriate financial compensation to the injured patient or the patient’s family or estate will be provided.”
Watkins’ explanation paints a picture of an organization that cares equally about accused physicians and injured patients. After all, nobody is arguing that falsely accused doctors shouldn’t receive a robust defence.
However, some plaintiff-side medical malpractice lawyers believe the CMPA can, on occasion, be over-protective of doctors against whom negligence is being alleged; one lawyer quoted in the Canadian Lawyer article said the organization works under the “archaic view that doctors never make mistakes.”
The reality is that, while the CMPA doesn’t make life easy for Plaintiffs, it isn’t the only source of challenges that plaintiff medical malpractice lawyers confront. They must also cope with a high burden of proof, the complexity and technicality of the subject matter in question, the cost of expert testimony and research, and much more.
Contact Neinstein Medical Malpractice Lawyers
If you or a member of your family have been injured in a medical setting, you should reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer with experience and expertise in this challenging area of personal injury law. At Neinstein, our team has been representing seriously injured patients for decades. Reach out today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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