Last night, the House Majority included legislation in their “Plan B” fiscal cliff proposal that would limit the legal rights of injured patients. This happened on the same day a new study was released from Johns Hopkins showing that at least 4,082 surgical “never events” occur each year. Surgical “never events” are egregious, preventable acts of medical negligence that should never happen in an operating room, such as wrong-site and wrong-patient surgeries. These events often leave patients permanently disfigured or seriously injured and can even result in death.
This study should give pause to anyone who supports legislation that protects negligent health care providers by limiting the rights of injured patients. But it has been a few months since the House debated and voted on this legislation, so here are a few reminders about the bill:
You can learn more about medical errors here.