Monday, April 25, 2011

Supreme Court May Hear Military Med Mal Challenge

There is hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that could allow military personnel who are victims of medical malpractice to sue military medical providers.

This is a sad and horrible case in which Air Force Staff Sgt. Dean Patrick Witt was hospitalized in 2003 for what should have been a routine appendectomy at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif. After surgery, a nurse anesthetist inserted a breathing tube into his esophagus instead of his trachea or airway, depriving his brain of oxygen. Witt, of Oroville, Calif., died after his family removed him from life support three months later.

Current law protects the military and prevents Staff Sgt. Witt's family from receiving any justice for this malpractice. Veterans, military families and others who oppose the decades-old law, the Feres Doctrine, that shields military medical personnel from malpractice lawsuits are rallying around a case they consider the best chance in a generation to change the protection.

"We labored on this for a long, long time, and we decided that the right thing to do here was to protect the rights of other people who go into the military and are signing away their rights to get good health care in the military system," said Witt's brother-in-law, Carlos Lopez, of Salt Lake City. "So we're hoping, we're praying, that his case could be the one that changes everything."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speak Up--Whether it's a Doctor or a Cab Driver!

I thought this piece by Maureen Dowd was very sobering and very funny. We are so afraid to speak up sometimes that it costs us our lives:

When my brother went into the hospital with pneumonia, he quickly contracted four other infections in the intensive care unit.

Anguished, I asked a young doctor why this was happening. Wearing a white lab coat and blue tie, he did a show-and-tell. He leaned over Michael and let his tie brush my sedated brother’s hospital gown.

“It could be anything,” he said. “It could be my tie spreading germs.”

I was dumbfounded. “Then why do you wear a tie?” I asked. He shrugged and left for rounds.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

6 Famous Frivolous Lawsuits that are B.S.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, unrealistic." John F. Kennedy

Here is a site that dispels many of the email forwards and that "I heard that" stories about lawsuits. Unfortunately, the truth often times is merely something that is repeated over and over again.