Today’s blog is the 500th consecutive daily blog that we have posted. We feel a great deal of pride and enormous satisfaction having reached this milestone. Looking back on our previous 499 consecutive daily blogs, we realize just how much ground we have covered: we have discussed medical malpractice statistics throughout the United States; we have reported on drug issues in the United States (such as drug shortages, drug warnings, drug recalls, and new drugs); we have reported on medical device news (including newly obtained information regarding long-term effects of medical implants); we have analyzed medical malpractice laws in many of the states in the United States (including appellate court reviews of medical malpractice tort reform efforts); we have discussed the efforts (and stumbles) at medical malpractice tort reform in many states (we have referred to many of such efforts as “tort deform” because most of the changes in state laws place unnecessary, arbitrary, and harmful restrictions on the rights of innocent victims of medical malpractice that exclusively benefit the small but powerful health care industry at the expense of those severely and permanently injured as a result of bad medicine); and, we have reported on medical malpractice verdicts throughout the United States, etc.
What Are Some Of The Things We Have Learned During The Past 500 Days?
We have learned that avoidable medical malpractice incidents that devastate the lives of patients and their families continue to occur at unacceptable and alarming rates despite the destructive laws passed by many state legislatures that restrict medical malpractice victims’ rights, such as arbitrary caps (limits) placed on the amount of noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, etc.) that can be recovered by the innocent and helpless victims of negligent medical providers’ substandard medical care.
We have learned that greed can be a motivating factor in medicine (just as it is in many aspects of life), including pharmaceutical companies that try to hide negative data regarding their products or try to market their drugs for unapproved uses, and doctors who over-prescribe pain medications and other prescription medications in order to line their own pockets (some of these doctors operate so-called “pill mills”).
We have learned that some medical practitioners will avoid their own responsibility for needlessly causing harm to patients by either failing to properly document unanticipated incidents in patients’ medical records or fraudulently preparing or changing medical records in order to hide their incompetence (or worse).
We have learned that the provision of medical care in the United States is a business — maximizing profits and minimizing expenses are important motivating factors that often affect the type and level of medical care and treatment received by patients, despite the efforts of medical providers to downplay the role of money in their decision-making process that can mean the difference between a patient enjoying a reasonable quality of life or experiencing life-long disability, pain, and suffering.
We have learned that health care providers are human — their motivations and actions (both good and bad) are the same as the rest of us. While most physicians and other medical care providers are competent, knowledgeable, compassionate, and dedicated to helping others, there are those who hide their shortcomings behind their white lab coats or their surgical scrubs — unfortunately, experience shows us that it is difficult as well as time-consuming to remove these individuals from their positions where they continue to cause harm to patients (statistics show that some medical providers are responsible for multiple medical malpractice claims before they are investigated by the appropriate regulators and even then many are not timely or appropriately restricted or removed from causing needless harm to patients).
We have learned that medical care in the United States is a powerful and well-organized industry that seeks to protect its own. The health care industry has effectively championed and financed so-called “tort reform” under the dubious and since unsubstantiated justification that limitations on recoveries for losses suffered by medical malpractice victims are necessary to tame and control medical malpractice insurance premiums paid by physicians who would otherwise flee and abandon their medical practices (which has also been proven to be untrue — when was the last time you read about a doctor who left medicine to become a plumber?).
We have learned that medical mistakes, medication errors, surgical mishaps, and other acts or omissions of medical negligence can cause great and permanent harms and injuries to the recipients of substandard medical care. Unlike many other professionals and non-professionals, when health care providers fail to provide that level of service that a reasonably competent provider would have provided under the same or similar circumstances, the consequences of such negligence are often catastrophic, permanent, painful, and costly — for instance, when a waiter provides a customer with a “bad meal,” the customer’s dinner may have been ruined but his/her life goes on; but when a doctor provides “bad care,” the customer (patient) may lose his/her life, may become wheelchair-bound or bedridden until suffering an early death, and/or may incur overwhelming medical bills and devastating loss of income for the remainder of his/her life.
Because the foreseeable consequences of medical malpractice are potentially so enormous and may be incurred over such a long period of time, the cost savings experienced when medical malpractice incidents are reduced are enormous. Therefore, much greater efforts must be made in reducing the occurrences of medical negligence, in identifying the circumstances when medical malpractice events are most likely to occur, and in identifying those health care providers who are most likely to commit (or re-commit) medical malpractice so that the savings realized in reducing medical malpractice events may be used to fully and fairly compensate those who are unfortunate to be on the receiving end of medical negligence.
We marvel at the history of great strides made and benefits realized in the science of medicine when resources were properly focused on addressing and defeating many former world-wide scourges of humankind — such as defeating polio during the last century, the discovery and use of antibiotics to treat and cure diseases, and the use of x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and other modern diagnostic and treatment tools used in diagnosing and treating medical conditions ranging from broken bones, neurological conditions, and muscular disorders to benign tumors, malignant cancers, and circulatory and respiratory problems. Perhaps if we focus similar attention to the scourge of medical malpractice in the United States, we can enjoy similar benefits, both for medical malpractice victims and their families, and for the rest of society.
If you, a family member, a loved one, or a friend may be the victim of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you and to assist you in learning about and protecting your legal rights.
Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free (800-295-3959) to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to assist you with your possible medical malpractice claim.
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