Defensive medicine means: Protective medicine: A medical practice that helps to avoid malpractice lawsuits in the future. Defensive medicine is a medical practice that aims to prevent liability, not to help the patient. While doctors may not always be able to avoid patients at high risk or order procedures or tests to minimize their malpractice exposure, they do sometimes need to perform these procedures. The rise of medical litigation has had the unfortunate effect of causing defensive medicine. Protective medicine can increase the costs of healthcare and expose patients to unneeded risks.
(in Medical Dictionary)