Sovereign immunity and its implications for neurosurgery

Rimal H Dossani, Muhammad Waqas, Michael J Meyer, Felix Chin, Hamid H Rai, Rameez Dossani, Anshara Munir Dossani, Muhammad Riaz
2020 Neurosurgical Focus  
The proportion of neurosurgeons facing a malpractice suit each year is highest among all medical and surgical specialties. It is critical for neurosurgeons to understand local malpractice laws because they vary among states. Sovereign immunity, as described in the 11th constitutional amendment, provides absolute immunity to states from being sued by their residents and by other states. A state may waive its sovereign immunity, however, and substitute itself as the defendant in place of a
more » ... n place of a state-employed physician in the court of law. This means that a physician working for a state-funded hospital may not be liable to a malpractice suit. Further provisions of the law allow the state not to pay indemnity beyond a certain limit, which discourages plaintiff attorneys from pursuing indemnity charges against physicians working for state-funded institutions. In this review, the authors describe the concept of sovereign immunity and its implications for the practice of neurosurgery.
doi:10.3171/2020.8.FOCUS20613 pmid:33130627 fatcat:2tucnwjkxvhb5f73zl6bbuypku