This issue of the ASA NEWSLETTER is devoted to articles by members of the Committee on Professional Liability. Our mission is to improve anesthesiologists’ understanding of medico-legal affairs and design programs to prevent medical malpractice claims. Several noteworthy articles span our committee’s mission.

Ronald Litman, M.D. reviews the ethical and legal considerations for prescribing medications for self and family members. Christopher Burkle, M.D., J.D. reports on the Oregon Safe Harbor Study Results and asks the question: Is there hope for improved medical liability transparency through use of guidelines? As shared decision-making enters the medico-legal realm, Colleen O’Leary, M.D. looks again at the informed consent process.

Our committee directs the Closed Claims Project and associated registries, including the Postoperative Visual Loss Registry and the Anesthesia Awareness Registry. Two articles in this issue are the result of closed claims analysis. Lorri Lee, M.D. describes factors associated with postoperative respiratory depression from opioids,...

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