Medical Error Leads to Unnecessary Surgeries, Suffering
Every year, 440,000 Americans die as a result of preventable medical errors and many countless more are injured. States across America are considering legislation that would limit the rights of injured patients while providing no accountability for medical errors.
Linda of Woodville, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in the spring. In order to save her life, doctors recommended that she undergo radical treatment: including the removal of both of her breasts.
On their recommendations, Linda opted for surgery. When Linda awoke from her double mastectomy, her surgeon told her, “You don’t have cancer.”
While her first thoughts were of relief, very quickly, relief turned to horror. Linda’s surgeon followed that up with, “You never had cancer.”
It turns out that two pathologists had switched her biopsy results with another woman’s results. That means that Linda’s breasts had been amputated absolutely unnecessarily. To make matters worse, Linda has suffered a host of infections and had to undergo several emergency surgeries as a result of those unneeded mastectomies.
The civil justice system provides an incentive to health care providers to improve patient care. Removing that accountability and incentive leaves people at risk for more injuries from negligent care.