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June 09, 1978 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1978-06-09

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Page 6-Friday, June 9, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Solzhenits n ealls West 'spiritually empty'
The stocky, bearded writer was the greatest power within the Western
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - After keynote speaker. He spoke slowly in countries."
four years of exile in the West, Soviet Russian while an interpreter translated
author Alexander Solzhenitsyn said for the 4,474 degree recipients and HE CRITICIZED American with-
yesterday he has concluded that alumni, faculty and guests who made drawal from Vietnam, saying, "Your
Western society is suffering "spiritual up the crowd of 18,000 that gathered in shortsighted politicians who signed the
fo tasfing Rusi t mdHarvard Yard. hasty Vietnam capitulation seemingly
for transforming Russia. "No, I could not recommend your gave America a carefree breathing
The outspoken dissident's sometimes society in its present state as an ideal pause. However, a hundredfold Viet-
stinging criticism of American life met for the transformation of ours. Through nam now looms over you.
subdued applause and occasional hisses intense suffering, our country has now "That small Vietnam had been a
from the rai-soaked thousands who achieved a spiritual development of warning and an occasion to mobilize the
gathered to hear him at Harvard such intensity that the Western system nation's courage. But if a full-fledged
University's 327th commencement. in its present state of spiritual America suffered a real defeat from a
So henityn said the West is exhaustion does not look attractive," he small communist half-country, how can
weakening while the East is growing said. the West hope to stand firm in the
stronger. "A FACT WHICH cannot be disputed future?
is the weakening of human beings in the "There have been naive predictions
"SHOULD SOMEONE ask me West while in the East they are by some American experts who
ihether I would indicate the West, such becoming firmer and stronger." believed that Angola would become the
as it is today, as a model for my coun- Solzhenitsyn was sharply critical of Soviet Union's Vietnam or that Cuban
try, frankly I would have to answer Western leadership, the zealousness of expeditions in Africa would best be
negatively," the Nobel Prize-winning human rights advocates and /of the stopped by special U.S. courtesy to
writer said in a rare public appearance. e5 n ifsn press which he said "has become the Cuba."

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Study says patients don't sue

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -
Many more patients are injured by
negligent doctors than ever file medical
malpractice claims, despite complaints
by physicians that such claims are ex-
cessive, says a study released today.
The Rand Corp. report also says "a
clear subgroup of physicians" is
repeatedly careless and accounts for
the bulk of the claims.
"Many more incidents of malpractice
occur, it appears, than result in a claim
for damages," said the study. "At most
only one out of every six or seven in-
cidents can be expected to result in a
claim."
THE STUDY was co-authored by Dr.
William Schwartz, a Tufts University
professor of medicine who says he is
bracing himself for reaction from

fellow physicians.
"I am not looking forward to the
possible wrath of some of my
colleagues. This report challenges the
conventional views and that is always-
painful. That always stirs up a reac-
tion," Schwartz said in a telephone in-
terview from Boston.
The study, published in the New
England Journal of Medicine, rejects
most arguments used by physicians
against the malpractice system.
The study said that despite oc-
casional million-dollar settlements, the
average malpractice award during 1974
did not even cover the patient's losses
in medical expenses and lost earnings.
IT ALSO challenged the argument
"that 'good' physicians are sued as of-
ten as the 'bad.' "
The report said a four-year study of
8,000 Los Angeles-area doctors showed
that fewer than 1 percent of them "ac-
counted for 10 percent of all claims and
30 percent of all payments made by the
malpractice insurance plan."
"There seems to be a clear subgroup
of physicians who are repeatedly

negligent." Schwartz said. "A very
small percentage of doctors were
responsible for a disproportionate
number of claims."
THE REPORT suggests that a
primary rule of malpractice -claims is
to deter future negligence. But, it said,
"the signal to the physician, as deter-
mined by the number of claims and size
of awards, appears to be insufficient for
ideal deterrence."
Schwartz said the signal is weakened
because most victims of malpractice do
not go to court.
"It may not be clear to the patient
that a bad outcome was due to the doc-
tor," he said. "But also, many patients
are reluctant to sue their doctor
because he's been kind to them during
their illness. And then, of course, suing
is just a very unpleasant activity."
The study said the warning is further
diluted by the existing system of
malpractice insurance, under which
the cost of malpractice judgments is
spread among all doctors through
higher premiums.

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