The logical part of me says that you are right, but I would love to be optimistic, perhaps naive, and think that at some point the RIGHT manipulative media will start to make people think twice about how they spend their daily lives.
Far be it for me to comment on US domestic politics from the position of an outsider. I will say that I have noticed one difference in the respective mindsets of the US and Australian body politics: the US regards principles of state autonomy, limitation of federal power, etc as being absolutely paramount, almost regardless of the cost. In Australia, although these are considered to be good principles, they are not adhered to with such rigidity that they stand in the way of good and effective public policy making. Virtually nobody here seriously considers the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government to levy income tax as being evil and tyrannical.
As far as who the burden is being placed on: this lawsuit (if I actually did pay attention in my introductory law class) won't place the burden of responsibility on the doctor. It will place it on everyone.
The basic theory of tort is that the burden of the consequence of a legally recognized wrong (not a mere accident; the law of negligence is not concerned with making the world a safe place, merely trying to stop it from being preventably unsafe by discouraging reckless or dangerous behaviour, so to speak) is transferred from the shoulders of the victim to that of the wrongdoer through a monetary payment from wrongdoer to victim. The actual practice is that doctors and others likely to be the defendants in negligence actions take out liability insurance, and we do pay through an economic ripple effect, specifically through higher insurance premiums (which we may receive second-hand through, e.g., re-insurers increasing their premiums on the kind of primary insurers, like health, life, and property insurers, that you or I would use). Of course, if the risk of legal action becomes high enough (through allowing legally questionable actions to succeed), then liability insurance premiums will rise to the point where doctors will not be able to afford cover, and the burden will be back on doctors' shoulders.
There are ways around this. One such way would be to establish a publicly-funded, no-fault medical accident compensation scheme, where the state recovers its costs through a conventional negligence action where appropriate (most Australian states already have similar schemes in place for accidents in the workplace, the principal difference being that payments are capped, and if you want more you have to sue your employer for negligence). A better way (IMO) is simply to offer better disability support so that disabled people, regardless of the cirumstances under which they acquired their disability, get decent support.
The legal system is the only way today for anyone without loads of cash to make a statement and attempt to make a change.
Lawyers, unfortunately, are not cheap, and legal aid generally only comes to the aid of defendants in criminal matters. And since the media usually make a complete hash of reporting decisions (complex legal issues simply don't fit into a seven-second soundbite, and it seems most journalists aren't adequately trained to report them accurately) the message is usually lost.
And, unfortunately, lawyers will only take on cases that they can win - cases that either have some precedent, or that can be described in existing legal langauge so that a precedent can be set.
Unfortunately, since lawyers get paid regardless of whether they win or lose, they may take a case even if they know it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of succeeding. It's not so bad in Australia (I think that's because of the way that the legal profession is structured here, but that's a matter for considerabl debate) but it still happens.
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