...fail with 1% of probability; if so, ...

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Dear all, I would like to know if the use of 'if so' in the following phrase is correct.
The healthcare process can fail with 1% of probability; if so, the patient may choose to suit the physician for medical malpractice.

I wrote 'if so' in place of 'if the healthcare process fails', which is almost a repetition of the preceding clause. Another thread (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2796922) gives useful information but has not solved my doubts.
  • Hello cyberpedant! I want to say the following ideas:

    1) the outcome of a medical treatment can be positive with 99% of probability (e.g. the patient recovers) and negative with 1% of probability (e.g. the patient does not recover):

    2) if (and only if) the outcome of the medical treatment is negative (e.g. the patient did not recover), the patient can sue the physician for medical malpractice (e.g. the patient asks the physician a reimbursement).

    Anyway, remember that my question is on the use of 'if so' in the compound sentence. In other words, I know how to explain the two ideas in two separate sentences. For example: 'The medical treatment can fail with 1% of probability. If the medical treatment fails, the patient may decide to sue the physician for medical malpractice'. However, to avoid a repetition, I would like to substitute the words 'If the medical treatment fails' with 'if so'.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If you replace "if the medical treatment fails" with "if so," you change the meaning of the statement. The "if so" refers to the statistical statement that medical treatment will probably fail 1% of the time, not to the conditional statement that it failed in a particular instance.

    If you want to shorten the sentence, you can write "if that happens."

    Separately, it should be "1% probability," not "1% of probability."


    Senior Member
    US, English
    I think in this sentence the repetition is okay and is the only way to make what you are saying perfectly clear. I would leave the repetition in.
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