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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

20 Comments

  1. Gravatar for jc

    Yes, lets all admit we make mistakes so that the patient can run off to ambulance chasers like Lindsay Rakers so we can go thru years of litigation hell so that Rakers can make a fast buck. But when Lindsay mistakenly sues a doc for malpractice wasting his time, Lindsay should have immunity from a countersuit from the doctor because she had "good intentions" and frivolous malpractice suits are just a "legal complication."

  2. Dr. Cox: You are fond of quoting percentages. Do you quarrel with the percentage quoted in Ms. Raker's blog? Have you ever researched the number of medical mistakes that go unreported? Wouldn't that be an important statistic in your frequent arguments about how many cases are unsuccessful? How often do doctors "successfully" get away with medical mistakes and suffer no consequence? Are cases unsuccessful because of concealment and fabrication by the medical/hospital community? Take a look at the recent Amendment 7 ruling in Florida. Do you support that type of full disclosure? Of course, you don't! There is increasing evidence that admitting mistakes and immediately offering to pay for them decreases litigation frequency and reduces damages. But, you would rather conceal it or lie about it?! Concealing and lying results in litigation. And how does anyone make a "fast buck" going through years of "litigation hell"? Your arguments are getting more and more bizzare.

  3. Gravatar for Lindsay Rakers

    Dr. Cox, thank you for your comment. While I appreciate your comments, I strongly disagree with them. I don't know you at all - never spoken with you, never met you - so I am surprised by the personal attacks. Clearly, you know nothing about my practice. If I made "quick bucks", I'd be retired on a beach by now. I strive to protect my clients from going through the very litigation "hell" that you refer to. An injured person should not have to even go through the litigation process when liability is clear. Instead, there should be an apology, a plan to stop future mistakes, and compensation for the harms and losses. The point of my blog is to make the public aware that many, many medical mistakes are being made and are not being reported. That must stop. Lawyers must take responsibility for their mistakes - so must doctors and nurses. Surely you don't disagree with the notion of taking responsibility and making the public aware of this problem. Thank you.

  4. Gravatar for jc

    I have serious questions how anyone give an exact percentage of the number of times medical mistakes are made and are not reported to the patient. Face it, most medical mistakes have no effect on patient outcome, some mistakes affect patient outcome and neither the doc or the patient realizes the mistake.So saying 20% of mistakes are not reported is specious. Besides, with the current malpractice enviornment, after all the work docs put into their career no one wants to commit career suicide. We need a better system which means getting rid of the legal system and goint to medical courts!

  5. Gravatar for jc

    Bello - -you make a fast buck by filing a frivolous lawsuit and then settling for $10,000 - $20,000 after a couple of months. You extort money from the insurance companies and docs that way because the litigation system is too expensive to go thru. That is why, at trial plaintiff lawyers lose 80% of the time because they didn't have a case to begin with and the docs and insurance companies pay them off to get out of future litgation expenses.

  6. Gravatar for William Eadie

    JC, at it again. You spout all the rhetoric and make personal attacks, but you never provide any facts. If you really are a doctor, I hope you use more reason and facts treating patients!

    For your information, the "specious" claim that only 20% of medical errors are reported came from inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who found that more than 80 percent of hospital errors go unreported by hospital employees. Read http://abcnews.go.com/story?id=15308019&sid=26#.Txm0QNTF9I4 (this was also in the body of the article whose author you attack for no reason).

  7. Cox: "Frivolous" lawsuits don't result in $10,000-$20,000 settlements in a few months. They get dismissed. You know that; I know that. Lying about percentages and medical mistake frequency is not the way to pursue your self-admitted agenda which is to keep your malpractice rates low and be able to make medical mistakes without 'penalty'.

  8. Gravatar for jc

    Bill Eadie: I read the ABC article, and the author was the Inspector General of HHS. A Democratic operative who states that 80% of mistakes at hospitals are "unreported". It further states that 61% of the "mistakes" were not even recognized by the staff as mistakes. So you put bandage on someone with paper tape and they get a mild skin rash because of an allergy to the paper tape and that is a horrible mistake? This report does not break out those mistakes and therefore is useless propaganda produced for gullible plaintiff attorneys.

  9. Gravatar for jc

    Bello: Frivolous lawsuits often go all the way to court where they are rejected by the jury and then appealed by the plaintiff attorney who is trying to recoup his litigation losses. Scott E. Diamond, a Pennsylvania plaintiff attorney stated that in 2009 154 malpractice suits were filed in Pennsylvania resulting in only 23 plaintiff verdicts for a .143 batting average for the plaintiff attorneys. There are not many .143 ballplayers in the major leagues -those guys get demoted to the minors. You are right in that my goal is to get rid of the current medical malpractice system and replace it with medical courts because it will reduce my malpractice premiums, promote patient safty, expediate claims and provide uniform compensation where indicated.

    You promote the current system so you can hog outlandish fees on the backs of suffering patients and doctors.

  10. Dr Cox, you are making up comments in the middle of the day now. So no "legal consulting " to do? The two most interesting personal attacks on Lindsey and Mark, are so far off, it is almost comical , even for your usual posts.

    - Years of litigation hell = quick buck????

    - Backs of suffering patients and doctors? Easy way to fix that. Doctors should not lie or hide like you did in the cases where you caused the suffering.

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