Only 20% of Medical Mistakes are Reported Per U.S. Dept of Health
Lindsay RakersJanuary 19, 2012 4:13 PM
Most doctors and nurses (and other medical professionals) are trustworthy, honest, and good at their jobs. I personally love and completely trust all of my doctors and the doctors and medical professionals who treat my children. But some doctors, nurses and medical professionals take advantage and abuse the medical profession and their medical licenses. When doctors and nurses are licensed, they take an oath. And just like we teach our children, you must take responsibility for your actions. Say sorry when you are wrong. Accept the consequences when you mess up.
Doctors and nurses are human - they make mistakes - we all do. But sometimes the mistakes and medical errors made by doctors and nurses can cause people great harm. It is especially important for doctors and nurses to own up to their mistakes when someone is injured or killed. Oftentimes, as recently reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that doesn't happen.
Let's face it - doctors protect doctors and nurses protect nurses. Sometimes they even go so far as to cover-up for each other. They justify the cover up by telling themselves that their intentions were good, they didn't mean to hurt anyone, and therefore, no one needs to know. I've also heard doctors and other medical professionals use the excuse that what happened to the unknowing patient was simply a known complication. A known complication doesn't mean it should happen! Such an argument is an absolute slippery slope. What is to stop medical professionals from claiming that every type of injury alleged in a medical malpractice case came from a known complication? Is it a known complication for a surgeon to accidentally cut an organ - an artery - during surgery? If a surgeon performs surgery on a healthy right knee instead of a damaged left knee, just because he didn't intentionally do it, it is still a mistake - the patient is still hurt - someone is responsible. Who pays for the clients harms and losses incurred as a result of these mistakes?
As the election year approaches, we will hear a lot about Missouri medical malpractice lawsuits and Missouri wrongful death lawsuits and how we are driving good doctors out of town. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have to be held to the same standards as everyone else - it is a simple concept that we all learned in pre-school - take responsibility. Do not hide behind medical malpractice tort reform caps that limit what an injured person can recover - no matter what her harm is. Do not indicate in the operative report that everything when smoothly and as expected when really, the client almost bled out on the table. Do not "lose" damaging medical records. We all make mistakes - the patient shouldn't have to pay.
Lindsay Rakers, Missouri and Illinois Injury Attorney