As the side-effects of new medical treatments are discovered, the people suffering those side effects group together to sue the drug manufacturers or the national health system for not having tested their products adequately. Many of the plaintiffs use legal aid, and call on medical experts as witnesses. This drains the health system, which often is the defendent. Much of this litigation is viewed as being opportunistically encouraged by the legal profession. In Britain, lists of accident victims are bought by legal firms who wish to locate potential clients. In 1995, in Britain, there were 12000 medical negligence cases, which cost the public over 21 million pounds. Most of the money was spent on lawyers. In the benzodiazepine suit, 35 million pounds were spent, of which none went to the plaintiffs. It all went to lawyers and expert medical witnesses.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.