Abington Hospital wants to send medical malpractice victims to mediation to keep them out of court (listen to report on ABC News). Sounds good right? Don’t be fooled. “Sue happy” people aren’t driving the doctors out of town. That’s only what they want you to believe.
Lets face the facts. The Institute of Medicine released a study which states 98,000 people DIE each year from medical errors. That doesn’t even account for the other patients that are permanently disabled or disfigured by the hands of doctors.
To add insult to injury, the medical community has a longstanding tradition of covering up medical mistakes. As a patient, if my doctor screwed up, I want some answers. I want you to be honest and I want you to tell me how your gonna fix it. When you pretend like my suffering isn’t your fault, i’m gonna get mad and i’m gonna call a lawyer.
And to be honest, that’s the consensus among 99% of our clients. However, according to Abington, mediation will solve all of these problems. After all, the doctors will all come back to town, the “sue happy, money hungry” patients get their settlement and we all call it a day. Does anyone else feel like Abington is shifting some blame here on the patient without addressing the real problem that doctors are hurting patients at an alarming rate?
I have a better idea for you Abington Memorial Hospital– why don’t you take some of the money that you are spending on mediators and hire some more doctors? Studies clearly show that medical errors are caused by sleep deprived doctors who work “marathon” shifts of 24 hours or more. Its also common knowledge that going 24 hours with no sleep is equivalent to having a .10 blood alchol level (which either meets or exceds the legal limit in all 50 states).
Quite frankly, I am reminded of that old saying “you made your bed, now lie in it“. If you want to unleash sleep deprived doctors into the operating room, so be it. But at the same time, be prepared to face lawsuits when they make mistakes.
That’s just one of many ways that hospitals can do something constructive to fix this problem. Let’s stop blaming the victims for “our good doctors leaving town“. Step up and take some real responsibility Abington. That’s the only real way to bring the doctors back to town.
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