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Fulton Files

Lawyers, Guns and Money



Given the full weight and wrath of trial attorneys on the medical profession, which in turn passes on the full weight of its malpractice insurance to less litigious patients in search of medical care, perhaps this was only a matter of time. As reported in the March 5 edition of The New York Times, a group of Texas doctors has now gone to the trouble of collecting the names of plaintiffs, their attorneys, and their expert witnesses on a Website titled DoctorsKnowUs.com. The ostensible aim of the site is to help physicians stay away from patients more likely to display “litigious behavior.” If the government and other consumer groups can list physicians who’ve been sued, surely physicians should have the right to weigh the risk of treating a patient who’s sued or attempted to sue a physician.

“The fact that it exists testifies to the continued frustration physicians feel as they try to care for their patients amidst the epidemic of lawsuit abuse,” Texas Medical Association general counsel Rocky Wilcox told Times reporter Ralph Blumenthal.

& ull; Guns don’t stage armed robberies, people do: Smith & Wesson Chairman James Joseph Minder had a good, short run behind the helm of one of the world’s premier gun manufacturer, until The Arizona Republic discovered that the 10 years Minder spent in Michigan prisons was for a series of armed robberies he’d committed throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Minder resigned his post soon after the revelation. No word on the relief company directors felt after the irony was lifted.

& ull; It’s Your Nickel: Remember “The Sacajawea Golden Dollar,” the coin, introduced in 2000, poised to save taxpayers bundles of money once all our “Washington paper dollars” died dog-eared deaths? No matter how much money the U.S. Mint spent promoting the damned thing—which, at $100 million, wasn’t cheap—the vending industry couldn’t be persuaded to accommodate it. In America, no one goes up against big business interests and wins. Continuing along the line of Lewis & Clark themed figures, our esteemed Mint has now turned its energies to refurbishing currency Americans already use. Now, instead of Jefferson’s Monticello on the back of the nickel we get strapping new symbolism commemorating the Louisiana Purchase on the back of our five-centers. Get ready for the Mint to spend another round of millions promoting the coin. But hopefully, with the aid of City Weekly, they’ll be able to shave a bit off the top of that budget. Never say this column serves no useful purpose.

& ull; Birth control is strictly for wealthy atheists: A new study by Columbia University’s department of sociology showed that the rate of STDs among teenage sex abstainers was no different from that of teenage sex practitioners. That’s because so-called abstainers, who apparently couldn’t control their urges as advertised, were less likely to use condoms. America’s idiotic contempt for contraception has worldwide implications, too; especially where the evil United Nations is concerned. While the rest of the world promotes birth control to help end poverty and famine by limiting family size, the Bush administration clings to the belief that people in developing nations should simply abstain from sex. At the dawn of his administration, in fact, Bush pulled $35 million in funding from the U.N.’s Population Fund and the World Health Organization. Condoms, as matter of both national and domestic policy, are evil. And as a matter of consequence, it follows that STDs are way cool.