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Why Doctors Stay Mum About Mistakes Their Colleagues Make

Telling a patient about another doctor’s medical error can mean losing business or suffering retribution. Now, some physicians are looking for ways to break the code of silence.

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Veronica James

Nov. 10, 2013, 12:01 p.m.

Great article, Marshall!  This is for Dr. Mittler: 

What is your stand on the issue of defendants imposing broad gag clauses on plaintiffs, and do you fight against these harmful clauses that add patient insult to patient injury?

Please support our petition, and Bill A3956:  Sunshine in Litigation

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/426/911/456/end-the-silence-ban-gag-clauses-in-medical-settlements/

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A4000/3956_I1.HTM

Kimberly

Nov. 10, 2013, 12:29 p.m.

Joe H,  You seem to be taking this very personally!  The article doesn’t say “every doctor” hides mistakes.  You said it yourself… “They are human”!  So, they will make mistakes. ADMIT it, then FIX it.  That’s the point.  They are not infallible.  I trust my doctor, but will never set foot in the hospital where by baby girl suffered.  And when I went in for a C-Section (after the death of my little girl), I went home in 36 hours instead of 3 days. I went to MY doctor 3 days later to have the staples removed.  I felt being in a hospital longer than necessary put me at risk.  I think you should be grateful to have such great medical care, but understand, not all doctors are great.  You, of all people should agree that ALL doctors should have good ethics and own their mistakes.  The article isn’t about making mistakes, it’s about admitting them and finding a solution to prevent them from becoming repeated issues.

Joe Honick

Nov. 10, 2013, 12:44 p.m.

Kimberly, I do indeed take this commentary seriously since, for the most part, it is not as logical as you logically suggest.  It is inded a broadbrush approach almost entirely…of the kind that often lops oer into other prejudices.

O. Romero

Nov. 10, 2013, 1:07 p.m.

It seems to me from what I am reading that most mistakes are a matter of opinion. Clearly there are some mistakes that everyone agrees about, for example operating on the wrong part of the body. However, there are lots of mistakes that are only obvious in retrospect, and even so, many may even disagree whether one occurred. As an example, a doctor gives an antibiotic, sleeping medicine,or pain medicine to someone who insists on getting it. The person then has a horrible side effect; let’s say they get brain damaged.
What is for sure is that in our current system some one is going to get paid to say it is a mistake and another is going to get paid for saying it isn’t. Then 6 reluctant people without any expertise in the subject are going to have to decide.
We should establish a panel made up of salaried ( perhaps retired) experts to make these decisions to compensate people and eliminate costly lawsuits.

Joe Honick

Nov. 10, 2013, 1:08 p.m.

Now that this rant has gone on as long as it has, I would respectfully urge that the greater attention should be turned what is known as Pharna, the massive ad often wreckless pharmaceutical industry some of whose “victims” are, yes, physicians desperately looking for mans to help patients while overwhelmed by pharma marketibg.

Marcie Jacobs

Nov. 10, 2013, 1:34 p.m.

Joe Honick, I think to answer your question you have to look at the incentives that are driving the bad behavior.  The bad behavior is with impunity in most cases.  So your question is to whom do we go to when we don’t trust doctors, hospitals or other facilities?  And to follow up your inquiry, how do we change the paradigm that incentivizes doctors to repeat errors and treat those medically harmed with indifference. 

The answer in my opinion is we have to get entire organizations on board in looking at costs.  For example large self-insured companies are being gouged by medical error, faulty products, needless surgeries and drugs that maim and kill.  In addition they may lose a valuable employee that was an integral part of the organization where they worked.  So the large employer that self-insures has an incentive to stop iatrogenic injuries from occurring in the first place.  Now not only do you have patients that are harmed you have fortune 500 employers that are reeling under the sky rocketing healthcare costs with little to show for it and they have lost valuable employees.  This is true if a family member is harmed because it impacts the performance of the employee at work and if the family member is on its plan it will cost the employer for subsequent repair.  Vaccine injury comes to mind and autism.  This generation of autistic children will cost society trillions of dollars no matter what the cause and conventional medicine has no answers as to the cause of autism. 

In conclusion, I find your comment disingenuous because you offer no solution and instead dismiss the valuable input those that have been harmed are capable of relaying.  And their input is not only needed it is essential to changing a system that many believe is corrupt and predatory whereby profits come before patient safety.

Joe Honick

Nov. 10, 2013, 3:17 p.m.

Marcie, while I mildly resent being accusedof being disengenuous, I find the whole pattern of this discussion more of what you accuse me of
First, I cn recite s long list of hospitsls, research and otherwise, doijng marvelous work.  While I cannot address the problems of self-insured corporations, my experience with friends and close relatives does not come close to whst is described and complained about here

Joe Honick

Nov. 10, 2013, 4:25 p.m.

While I only mildly resent the idea of being disingenuous, because the entire slant of this presentation by the author and his fans is totally one sided, I would suggest those who only see one direction are the more disingenuous.
Whstever employers go through or their employers, any of the larger employers are much influenced by labor uhions who accept the programs being argue agsinst.

Yanling Yu

Nov. 10, 2013, 5:18 p.m.

Thanks for an excellent article.  I like the question asked in the title. Another equally critical question is—-What should we do about this problem?  I would suggest three solutions and I am sure there are many others:

1. Fix the state medical boards and make them accountable when they fail to remove those 6% of doctors who are responsible for 60% of all medical malpractice (a statistics based on data from National Physician Data Bank);

2. Require every doctor and other medical professions to take a class on medical harm, where they will listen to victims and their families to talk about how preventable medical errors and harms have profoundly affected their lives.

3. Such a class should be required to attend every year with a different group of victims and families, so that the epidemic, the magnitude, and the wide-spread medical harms can be clearly communicated to medical professions.

Carla

Nov. 10, 2013, 5:48 p.m.

@ Yanling Yu . . . #2 and #3 is a waste ‘o time.  Altruistic, but a waste of time. I wouldn’t even focus on that.  Doctors know, or should know, when they have made a mistake.  They’re the professionals, no?!?  They are the first to deny they have anything to do with it.  A simile:  having a drunk driver go to traffic school to see the pictures of the accidents caused by drunk drivers.  Because most alcoholics are in such denial they don’t see themselves as being alcoholics and capable of causing these accidents.  So the premise that they will even be receptive to this is wishful thinking.  #1 is spot on.  Not everyone who went to medical school and become licensed is going to make a good doctor.  They don’t recognize their mistakes, you can’t make them recognize their mistakes, so don’t bother about #2 and #3.  #1—yes!! 

#2—pee tests (many of the 6% have substance abuse problems)
#3—black box recorders and video monitors in all operating rooms.  It’s recorded.

Yanling

Nov. 10, 2013, 6:27 p.m.

Carla,  My items #2 and #3 may be a waste of time, as you have argued. I was totally pessimistic too until my recent experience at the UW medical school, where I talked to 100+ medical students at a seminar about what happened to my Dad and my family. After the seminar, two students came up to me with tears in their eyes and thanked me for sharing my Dad’s story. I could tell my Dad’s story had made some impact on them.

So, I think there is still hope for new generation of medical professions. Even if we could influence only one or two people each time, it is still worth trying, for these two medical professionals may help save many lives down the road.

I have another solution for the problem—- how about charge those who keep quiet about medical errors/harms that their colleagues make with the same unprofessional conduct?  At the same time, medical professionals who do report those who cause harm should be protected from any reprisals.

Joe Honick

Nov. 10, 2013, 8:05 p.m.

Marcie, sorry but there is nothing disingenuous in any of my statements despite your lengthy commentary.  Whatever disincentives you might cite, reality is that it is your wide ranging statement about modern medicine is really not excusable.
Of course modern medicine does not have all the answers to all concerns.  That is not a reason for the unlimited condemnation I’ve read here.  Fact is the massive amount of research going into things like autism financed substantially by private non governmental sources speaks loudly to commitment to things well beyond autism that demand progress.
How do you make such statements when places like Mayo, the various Jewish hospitals dealing with cancer of all kinds, and other dangerous diseases, the amazing progress in helping victims who lose limbs, and so many other areas of concern?
In at least two cases I know of where young men were suffering from severe cases of testicular cancer, patients in the same room were both receiving full medical care despite the fact one of the boys was a public uninsured patient.

Disingenuous is painting an entire universe with the broad brush of prejudice.  It may not be valid, but the prejudice spreads.

Roxanne Ballard

Nov. 10, 2013, 11:13 p.m.

Physicians “police” themselves. RNs are not ALLOWED to “police” themselves. There are policies in place to ensure mistakes found by other RNs are reported in the correct manner. Manager, Incident Report, etc.  I might be dating myself, I have been a nurse (LPN) since 1980, RN 1991 and BSN 2000, but I have NEVER seen an incident report filled out ON a physician.

Where does it say in the governing body of the what, AMA, State Licensing Board, are there specific regulations on reporting a known mistake by a licensed physician?

Answers?

Terry Reed

Nov. 11, 2013, 7:23 a.m.

Stephen Daniels wrote a paper, “‘The Juice Simply Isn’t Worth the Squeeze!” for the American Bar Foundation in 2009.  He was referring to the fact that tort reform has made it impossible for housewives, poor working people and often the elderly cannot get an attorney to represent them because there isn’t enough money in the case to pay for expert witnesses, repay medical costs, pay the client AND pay the lawyer.  He is right! Read the article at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1357092

Going to your state boards does no good either!  They’re nothing more than a panel of their peers.  I know, I’ve tried that route and wish I could shout to the treetops: DO NOT BOTHER!  It can go against your case if you do ever get it to a Courtroom.  They’re hopeless in the ‘good buddy’ system of medicine and dentistry.

We can all thank Karl Rove for making this the biggest plank in the campaign platform of Bush, Jr when he ran for Texas governor, then it became a national disgrace. Those two war criminals managed to convinced the gullible American public that we, the harmed patients, were the cause of ever rising healthcare costs but the facts have shown that not to be the case at all! 

In fact, it’s been my experience that the only way to make doctors and dentists change their ways, is to take their money!  Be very public about it!  We’re a society that says it values more than money, but if that were the case, why do so many doctors and dentists get away with what is worse than murder?  Why worse?  Because we trusted them with our lives, and they have either killed us outright, or made living hell on earth. 

I know, I am a harmed patient who nearly lost her foot and have lost my maxilla and the left side of my face entirely. Can I be fixed?  Yes.  But it would take more money than I have.  Bad doctoring, bad dentistry - imminently provable but “no juice for the lawyers” means I have no day in Court.  Ever. I will live without ever eating solid food again, and although I was once called beautiful, I now hide my face, and have no mirrors in my home. I am ashamed of how I appear, and you would be too if you had a big hole in your face - that didn’t NEED to be there!  I didn’t have cancer, I had ONE CAVITY!

The scoliosis that was found at age 16 in my son, and left untreated, because the doctor said “it wasn’t a bad curve, and would likely just go away.”  We TRUSTED.  Now, my son at the age of 24 lives in constant agony, with one leg shorter than the other causing his entire back to spasm, and the spasms are visible! 

My tiny two person family is RUINED by these ‘board-approved’ quacks, and we can do NOTHING about it!  American, Home of the Free - if you have money. I used to be proud of my country but not anymore. Now, I’m an aging woman who wishes she did have the courage to seek the Old Testament kind of revenge: an eye for an eye.  If I cannot get the money from them to fix what they screwed up, then I’d like them to suffer as much as we are. 

I know God will get them, but in the meantime, it would be a miracle if some doctor, some dentist somewhere would step up to the pump and help us out. But it won’t happen!  Even though attorneys do ‘pro bono’ work, I’ve yet to see any medical professional offer to repair what one of his peers has done - at no cost.  Ha!  That will happen when prostitutes are free!

Brant Mittler MD JD

Nov. 11, 2013, 2:49 p.m.

Veronica, thanks for an important comment.
I am against gag orders and sealed case files. Having said that, attorneys have to follow the wishes of their clients. Most clients—this is a general statement—not referencing any of my clients specifically—do not want to fight defendants’ confidentiality agreements, which sometimes even spell out that answers to any media queries should be “no comment.” They just want to end the case and go on their own way.
I believe that legislatures should strive to keep court records open.
One thing the media can do is look at the unsealed court file to see what is filed in response to motions for summary judgment. I have had cases where all the materials filed to oppose the motions for summary judgment are open records, even though much of it had been at one time not open. In one recent case, the Defendant hospital filed some materials they had under a protective order as evidence in an MSJ.
Those documents on hospital policy and procedure would be very instructive to the public and the media.  Defendants often file a last minute motion for summary judgment prior to settling, not thinking that this is an invitation for the plaintiff to file everything but the kitchen sink to avoid summary judgment.
That happened in an HMO death case in which I was an expert witness in Dallas many years ago. A lot of material became available to the media about the practices of the HMO that the HMO did not want to become public but it became public.

Theoretically, broad gag clauses are not good for society, but in practical reality, plaintiffs are often worn down by the litigation and just want to get on with their lives.

Thanks for fighting the good fight on this.

Carla

Nov. 11, 2013, 3:01 p.m.

@ Yanling. Touching!  What a touching display of emotion. I bet they cry at movies too. In real life, two people who came up after you talked about what happened to your dad is irrelevant. You miss my point entirely. Doctors who harm people are covered. They have systems in place, big corporations who fight tooth and nail. This is demonstrated and IS the current system of things. So while your telling your story, getting all hugged up and having hope for the next generation I’d rather focus on THIS dispensation of medical disparity. If they did implement something like this, then it would be a meaningless, a feel good token to assuage guilt. It’s kinda a medical Stockholm syndrome   Do we get to sing Kumbaya while we’re all gathered around?  Read this carefully: They will never disclose error. They have HUGE law firms to defend them. They’re bank rolled by insurance money in the trillions of dollars to fight Patients. Yeah, let’s all talk about how we were injured. That’s going to change things {rolling eyes}.  The statutes are written in the books. The LAW says that even if a doctor says “sorry” it means nothing, the LAW says otherwise. But let’s all cry and hug.  I hope you got your sense of closure by now. Doctors are in the business of medical care, are they not?  Are you suggesting that if they only “knew” how patients felt, experienced and went through emotionally, financially blah, blah, blah, then they’ll not harm patients, and admit to their mistakes, etc.?!?  Hmmmm.  Do you suggest doctors don’t know this already?!?  Are you suggesting they are sans emotion, empathy, compassionate care?!?  Do you suggest they DON’T possess these traits to begin with?  You have hope for the next generation of doctors.  What are CURRENT patients supposed to do—what ‘til the current batch die off so they can get better care?!? I live in the present.  I don’t give a rat’s patoot about the next generation of doctors.  What about the MUCK UPS in THIS rotation?!?  They are in the medical care business RIGHT NOW!  Well that’s ironic, because on the one hand we have highly educated individuals who perform surgery, diagnosis, etc. and yet on the other hand they simply must be too dumb, and clueless to know what happens to patients and families after an Iatrogenic event. They have no clue and only will have a clue if they hear from patients?!? I slid off a bike when I was 5 and skinned my chest on the asphalt. That hurt.  I’m sure doctors would know that.  My little friends who were 3 to 7 figured that out.  And these HORRIFIC INJURIES to Patients, are you suggesting doctors only need to hear from harmed patients because they can’t figure out how this affects our lives?!? Doctors don’t know from PAIN and SUFFERING?!?  Would you please stop giving health care professionals excuses for their bad behavior. (Stockholm Syndrome)  All they need is to hear from patients . . . That will truly solve this crisis. Just put on a seminar and make it required every year that will take care of it all. {rolling eyes}  The two events 1) having patients talk about what happened to them and it being required and 2) having patients who have been harmed get HELP are two different things. Yes, let’s all tell our heart-breaking story—I have one too, you know.  Doctors are human, at least that’s what they are purporting.  I thought that was their mantra “We’re human”  So why are they acting LESS THAN HUMAN when it comes to this crisis?  Why do they close a blind eye, remain MUM? A: Because they don’t have to speak up.  Sure they cried at a touching story.  Does that change anything?  Trust me, they ALREADY know what patients go through.  They just look the other way.  They don’t want to get involved and here’s why: They just don’t give a shit.  They’re too busy protecting their ass to be concerned about yours or mine.  When people don’t speak up then it gives rise to regimes.  And the total institution of the medical/legal cabal is one big regime.  The two people that cried and hugged have no power in changing ANY of the system. Please don’t invent a pity party and make it mandatory attendance and think that’s going to change the system of things in the complex medical/legal cluster-fvck patients are being subjected to.  The Leviathan needs its head cut off!  Crying and hugging doesn’t make that happen.  The medical profession—who already should KNOW and REALIZE what trauma is caused on their Patients when they are harmed/injured/made dead—is as corrupt as any other racketeering scam.  Tammany Hall eat your heart out!

Val

Nov. 12, 2013, 3:18 p.m.

So I get that doctors are human and make mistakes just like anyone else but oh my gosh! This is some pretty serious stuff and they are morally obligated to confess mistakes and compensate the patients who suffer from their mistakes. Instead there should be an enforcement that requires doctors come forward regardless of their hesitation. In other words the consequence of not telling should be greater than their reservations not to tell - such as losing their license. The medical field needs to step in and fix this.

O Romero

Nov. 12, 2013, 4:47 p.m.

Let’s look at other countries. They spend much less on health care, have a fraction of the lawsuits we have, but are healthier and longer lived.
Conclusion: more malpractice lawyers means more perceived errors. Just as more disability lawyers equals more disability, more patent lawyers equals more patent infringements, etc,
Just as there is a military industrial complex which sees threats everywhere, there is a legal industrial complex which sees fat pay-offs everywhere.

Joe Honick

Nov. 12, 2013, 5:07 p.m.

For Dr Mittler, I am curious about why he left the medical profession for which he trained so hard and leapt to the business of suing patients of other doctors who may have worked just as hard and may well be subject to the fact of their humanity.  What I have read pretty much here both from the author and the well intentioned commenters is how bad the medical business is with far too few if any suggested solutions.

On a very personal basis, I am very familiar with diagnoses that called for physicians and surgeons involved to do crosschecks which were in fact done, discussed and followed to the immense success of work to be done and the welfare of the patients involved.  Where should I go to say something works even if all the other folks are sure the places like Mayo, the various Jewish medical centers and other institutions are not doing their jobs.  Sorry, Mr. Allen, but you have hardly added to the positive aspects of what is needed to be done that most physicians I know struggle to do and worry when unsuccessful aware that physicians like Dr Mittler who have flown the medical coup will be “on the job” with alacrity.

Yanling

Nov. 12, 2013, 5:11 p.m.

Carla, It is easy to misunderstand each other without a conversation, so I will keep this reply short. 

After having been brutally abused by all three systems: the medical, the regulatory, and the court, I have no illusion about the facts and no fantasy for any closure of my Dad’s death to negligence and incompetence. 

But, I have become a patient safety advocate to help in every way I can reduce preventable medical harms including to talk to medical professions who are willing to listen (although the opportunity is rare).  I do this not to “invent a pity party”, as you put it, but to try to use our stories as lessons for those to learn not to repeat the same mistakes. I also do that to honor in my Dad’s memory and to speak out for those who had no voices anymore like my Dad.

You can read my Dad’s story and see what I am advocating. One of my focuses is to push for medical transparency and accountability:

http://safepatientproject.org/story/washington-advocates-for-patient-safety-waps
http://www.washingtonadvocatesforpatientsafety.org/our-stories/

The medical industry is a huge money and power-driven complex that requires all of us to work together to make any changes.

Clark Baker

Nov. 12, 2013, 5:24 p.m.

@Romero – I used to believe that too.  Before 2008, I supported what is euphemistically called “tort reform.”

Since Congress indemnified the makers of vaccines and generic drugs, injuries and death have skyrocketed.  Since 2009, the pharmaceutical industry has paid $11 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs – paying $2.1 billion in REPORTED kickbacks and bribes to clinicians who promote the unnecessary use of deadly drugs for healthy patients.

http://www.omsj.org/reports/2011Q4.pdf

If tracked the numbers like real diseases, adverse drug reactions and PREVENTABLE errors and complications that kill or injure 2-4 million Americans ANNUALLY would rank somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.

Because these industries now own and control most of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; universities, regulators, and the media, trial lawyers are ironically the last obstacle between vulnerable Americans and these predatory industries.

You might also see the documentary, Hot Coffee.  http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/Default.asp

Joe Honick

Nov. 12, 2013, 5:54 p.m.

For the record, a correction:  I did not mean Dr Mittler was suing patients of other physicians.  I meant to say, but didn’t, “suing FOR patients of other doctors.”

Sorry about that

O Romero

Nov. 12, 2013, 7:49 p.m.

You probably weren’t alive when there were no vaccines or effective medication nor did you go to school with crippled schoolmates with polio and other diseases that vaccines and medicatin preventprevent. Yet all someone has to do is imagine that they were harmed by a medication or vaccine and a lawyers sees a paycheck.

Clark Baker

Nov. 12, 2013, 8:47 p.m.

@Romero - Infectious disease mortality became statistically irrelevant by 1955 - decades before the majority of todays vaccines were ever invented.  Even new cases of polio declined dramatically before Salk produced his vaccine - a decline that coincided with the decision to spray orchards with something other than arsenic that, coincidentally, produces that same symptoms of polio sufferers.

http://www.omsj.org/corruption/how-do-vaccines-spread-disease

A recent report from India questioned the rationale for introducing Hib vaccination in India where the incidence of Hib disease is very low. The editorial estimates that vaccinating 25 million babies could at best save 350 children from Hib meningitis and Hib pneumonia but ”3125 children will die from vaccine adverse effects.”

http://www.omsj.org/corruption/penta22jul

When doctors, hospitals, WHO, CDC, and governments don’t protect children from these deadly pharmaceutical weapons, lawyers are all that’s left.

If and when the vaccine industry wants to prove vaccine efficacy, they will conduct a 40-year retrospective comparing the health of two ~30,000 groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated children.  The cost for such a study is negligible (for the industry).  Despite the advantages of proving efficacy once and for all, such a study would never be conducted because PHARMACEUTICAL TRIAL LAWYERS know it would spell the end of the multi-billion-dollar vaccine industry.

O. Romero

Nov. 12, 2013, 9:56 p.m.

You have not referenced a study, only an opinion( re read your link).
The fact is, that a single case of polio, measles or diphtheria is unusual enough today to warrant mention in the national news, whereas 60 years ago they weren’t considered to be noteworthy.
A single case of smallpox today would terrify the world, 60 years ago in India it was common.

Dina J. Padilla

Nov. 16, 2013, 1:39 p.m.

In 1979, an anesthesiologist was charged with many counts of performing sex acts on at least 300 female patients (one as young as twelve) were having surgery. 5 nurses had tried to tell the board of directors of the hospital for a long time and not until, they went to the newspaper (Sacramento Bee 3/79), was an investigation done. The 5 nurses were all fired. Then finally the hospital board of directors decided that no one cannot be the head of the board permanently, that there would be a board head turnover every year. Doctors have what is called professional code of courtesy. It is exist in all professions which is why there are no real whistle blowers in the professional world ( and perhaps where the biggest & most malfeasance occurs)  to not duly go after one of their own.
The professional codes is what needs to be challenged. The conduct of any professional miscreant in any of the professional venues is what should bring the “professionals” down besides people that went into healing and then gave up their ethics instead. How big is one’s conscience, does it depend on how long you are in the venue of medicine that one’s job is more important than another’s life or limb or have they too become so callous to the pain of patients?
Then it is time to get out, time for a sabbatical or a cleansing of sorts. Because anyone who allows patients to suffer IS NO DIFFERENT THAN the doctors who harm the patients. Turning one eyes to the crime is the same.
How about those that work for or in any medical care facility ALL gathering together and make a complaint against one who dares to think that they are a God who can do anything. AND since when does an intern or resident get to do medical care all on their own? Where are their instructors, on the golf course, leaving the uneducated (they are not licensed or board certified , but even at that, the board certification IS is corrupt too) to do the actual diagnosing and treatment of any patient?
Today, medical care IS a business and the limbs & lives of real patients will continue to become more irrelevant all for the almighty buck, regardless of what part of the medical field or to those connected like Wall St.

Clark Baker

Nov. 16, 2013, 3:59 p.m.

@Dina J. Padilla, Kathy Day… Your assessments are spot on and, if anything has changed since 1979 it is that the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) makes things even worse.

The problem is one of perspective: While patients define “good doctors” as those who keep us healthy, hospital administrators define “good doctors” as those who generate revenue.  Healthy patients don’t generate nearly as much revenue as those who are subjected to preventable errors, complications, and unindicated medical interventions.

http://www.omsj.org/blogs/do-hospitals-harm-patients-for-profit

Dina J Padilla

Nov. 18, 2013, 1:38 p.m.

Unfortunately, this happened in workers’ compensation denial of medical care for well over decades and laid the ground work for shoddy medical care The CMA-California Medical Association will not take complaints against any medical examiner or comp doctor who botches a neck surgery rendering the patient a quad and THEN, the insurance adjuster denies an Rx for clot medication rendering the quad patient dead after 3 days. Or a patient that needs carpel tunnel surgery and cannot move or use her hand ever again after surgery or the one with hand surgery and cannot her use her ” whole dead” arm. So how long has this been going on? Who benefits because it isn’t the patients and then there is the University of IL.,  Scientist who fails to bring in millions of dollars from the feds(grants) and gets splashed with the plague and dies because his boss, a doctor states on paper DON’t give him any anti-biotics.. We are just experiments, period but all those experiments sure do bring in the money!. What has Senator Cantor as a doctor or anyone of the docs who are in congress done to stop this reign of terror. Nothing, because they are self serving to help themselves with all of the profits off of new technology and the NEW business called HEALTH CARE and all the while kick most of us to the curb as well as the older folks on medicare & SS.
My husband is waiting over 4 weeks for the results of a test that he was told to have ASAP. NO ONE has called or answered their phone for the results. Maybe, just maybe , they are waiting for him to have that stroke after all because they are just waiting for his B/P to go up and and he’ll then just die! Since the 60’s I have little faith anymore in the medical community being a patient and being a medical worker. Because it is just a business and nothing to do with saving lives. There probably are some doctors who actually care but the bottom line will now dictate the motivation and incentive, this is what medical care has come to. Everything is is a business and that means, profit, over and above, no matter what!. Thanks kaiser for paving that road to hell for patients and now it is the whole of the medical business that has patterned itself after it, kaiser. Kaiser with the DOD taught them all, on how to profit while mangling , making ill and offing patients. Mengele would ever so proud!

Elizabeth LaBozetta

Nov. 29, 2013, 8:10 a.m.

There are mistakes and errors in medicine—and then there is outright crime and the scripted collusion to keep a tight lid on it that crosses several professions. The introduction and training of laparoscopic gallbladder surgery is one such atrocity. Thousands of trusting people’s lives were wantonly sacrificed to get a whole surgical community trained at once in the dangerous introductory phase—and this training continues even to this day.
Break one, toss it out, get another…
New Medicine chants programmed-in statements like: “it is okay to sacrifice a few to benefit many” but who is good enough to take away the lives of others in service to any cause, however “noble”?
It is an overblown sense of entitlement and lack of clean oversight and law enforcement that allow such atrocities to occur and to continue unabated. Eyes are closed and lips are sealed and the targets of such violations are forced to pick up the tab and carry the burden for all. I was murdered although I am not dead yet. I was murdered as surely as if my surgeon (and his cohorts) had put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger. Does it make a difference, really, if death comes remote to the deliberate and calculated acts that caused it by days weeks, months or years? I judge acts by intention and the intention is abundantly clear. And copiously documented:

http://www.sepsisalliance.org/faces/elizabeth_labozetta/
http://www.geocities.jp/renaissais/english/mm/surgery.html

hello

Dec. 2, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

There’s so much more I want to write on this disturbing topic, but just briefly I want to let you know, Elizabeth, I clicked on the website you created and am very impressed with it. I’m sorry for your pain, and I applaud your website.

hello

Dec. 2, 2013, 9:02 p.m.

A surgeon horrifically, negligently butchered me in a different surgery than yours, Elizabeth, but it’s the same song-and-dance. Surgeons harming patients and then turning their backs on them. Then the white-coat-of-silence. The problem is HUGE. I also do not know how I lived through this, and there is no “quality of life” left. My existence since surgery is excruciating. Made worse by the whole dysfunctional, complicit, system.

V Jonas Urba, JD, MBA

Dec. 4, 2013, 11:25 a.m.

Most professionals are not interested in filing reports against anyone!  Who has the time for that?  Especially in larger metro areas.  And in the smaller ones, everyone quickly identifies the whistleblower.

The Affordable Care Act, by design, should reduce medical errors when patients are rewarded for good behavior in promoting their own health (healthy BMI, BP, LDL).  Surgeons’ rewards will include operating on patients with lower risk factors, resulting in more efficient surgeries.  Healthier surgical candidates with fewer preventable complications should strengthen physician/patient mutual respect yielding better outcomes. 

Doctor silence will not demand that those who heal should hurt.

Marcie

Dec. 4, 2013, 12:51 p.m.

@ V Jonas Urba I agree with you and have been saying this for a while.  The financial incentives to medically intervene and those interventions were driving healthcare costs.  Decisions were based on which treatments were profitable not about patient safety or patient health.  In this country it is financial incentives that drive bad behavior and bad medical decisions.  Once we realize this we will begin to change the incentives. The financial markets are an example of unbridled greed and perverted incentives.  Changing the incentives changes the entire paradigm. 

The ACA takes away the incentive to do more and puts it squarely where it belongs on the health of the patient.  No medical intervention is sometimes less harmful than treatments that lack efficacy.

Heath

Dec. 7, 2013, 1:54 p.m.

The intentional hiding of blood work, changing of radiology reports, falsifying of medical records and denial of care and treatment while denying damage exists by using a fake mental illness claim is just some of the things I have been subject to.
My opinion is that cover ups happen because the truth would could have a negative affect on the doctors career and advancement. If known how would some of these doctors be able to become professors, get best doctor awards or any award at all.
If the public knew about what really goes on at least they may be able to take some kind of safety measures to protect themselves. Without knowing what kind of abuses exit we can be easily victimized.
We cannot change this culture of silence so it is going to be up to us to change in order to protect ourselves if that is even possible. Telling our stories and information sharing is what we need to continue doing.

Elizabeth LaBozetta

Dec. 8, 2013, 6:57 a.m.

Heath, we have a Facebook discussion group called TRUTH IN MEDICINE where we discuss all of the things you have mentioned. It is a closed group and uncensored where we discuss the fine detail of records tampering, x-ray manipulation, false claims of mental illness designed to discredit and defeat, all the standardized games and abuses routinely inflicted upon malpractice victims.

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Patient Safety

Patient Safety: Exploring Quality of Care in the U.S.

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