The contention of Dr. Mitchell S. Karlan, president of the Los Angeles County Medical Assn., that the computer "services' major function was to 'raise an alert,' " is an absurdity.
The obvious purpose, over and above making a profit for its providers, is to discourage even the most meritorious lawsuit by intimidation.
One might ask, to be perfectly fair, whether the providers of Physicians' Alert would allow me, as an attorney specializing in plaintiff's medical malpractice, or any prospective patient to subscribe to their service, in order to learn, with a simple phone call, the identity of all physicians who have been named defendants in lawsuits.
We could expect a response that would point out that the basic service, which provides only the names of the litigants, does not tell us whether the patient's lawsuit was meritorious or not. Karlan would most likely agree that the mere naming of a physician as a defendant in a lawsuit, does not mean that the physician committed acts of medical negligence.