Thursday, August 18, 2011

Would you sue your doctor?

I don't think I would sue anyone unless I really felt they had done something wrong - like operated on the wrong body part. After I read this article I felt like I am the only one who wouldn't. These numbers amaze me 7.4% of all doctors face a lawsuit EACH year and 1.6% of all doctors face a payment EACH year. And we wonder why doctors charge so much because they have to pay so much malpractice insurance.

I have never understood the American way of suing people. I have a friend who told me she wanted to sue her neighbor because they had cut down the trees on their property that were shading her property or something like that. She was mad that they didn't tell her first. Hello, they don't have to tell you what they want to do on their property. They could to be nicer about things but they don't have to so why are you taking them to court? Someone else told me about the case where her neighbor is being sued by another neighbor for cutting the branches off the tree growing on her property and hangs over their driveway. They can do that legally. They could have asked first but they didn't have to so why are you suing?

I actually do know of someone who did sue their doctor. When their child was born one of the doctors failed to properly monitor the child's breathing and didn't act when needed to prevent harm to the child. As a result the child will spend its life in a special needs nursing home and has a life expectancy of less than 20 years. The results of the lawsuit pay for care needed for the child. I can see this as a case where suing was the right way.

Doctors are practicing medicine and the human body contains a lot of mysteries. Tests do not necessarily expose everything that is found when surgery begins. I had a bad day of skiing ten years or so ago. An MRI showed a meniscus tear and a suspicious ACL. Surprise, surprise, in surgery they found that I actually had a second older meniscus tear that had healed itself and my ACL was partially torn.

Yes sometimes accidents, stupidity, drug reactions, and all sorts of other blips happen in life. But they have so many double checks now that cases of operating on the wrong thing are not as common as they were. And medicine is not exact. Everyone is a little bit different. Sometimes scars heal weird, or a secondary infection happens or a medication doesn't work. Its not perfect so you can't expect perfection. You can expect a certain level of improved health but that isn't always guaranteed either.

The hope now is to move to what they call apology law where doctors and patients can hash things out with attorneys and a third attorney for a mediator to keep things out of court but get away from the emotions of a doctor's office. I am all for anything which happens out of a court room.

2 comments:

Ann said...

I'm with you, I wouldn't sue a doctor unless there was gross negligence. Doctors are human beings with lots of pressures on them and they are not perfect.

What they do has much scarier consequences that what most do though, and they have to be on their game. It's a wonder anybody goes into medicine at all these days.

CCC Diagnostics said...

It really depends on the situation, Doctors do what they can to save a person's life. But this is reality, if a patient was admitted as soon as it was diagnosed with cancer, then there's a high possibility that the patient could be saved and cured. so to me, I won't sue a doctor.