If I were to tell you that there is something that kills over 400,000 Americans each year, would you want to stop it? What if that same thing is something you, your children, your loved ones all must have? It cannot be avoided. Would that concern you? Would you be upset to learn that Congress and the new administration would protect the killer at the expense of innocent patients and families?
Medical Negligence Kills Millions
In 1999, a report came out from the Institute of Medicine finding that 98,000 Americans died each year from preventable medical error. That was shocking at the time. Turns out, is was grossly understated. More recent 2013 estimates from the Journal of Patient Safety put he number at 400,000 deaths per year.
To put this is perspective, it is estimated that the total number of Americans lost in battle in all wars including the Civil War is around 680,000. Even with the modest 98,000 figure, this means that preventable medical error would kill more Americans than all wars in less than a decade. With the updated numbers, it would take only 2 years.
So what’s the response from Congress, the medical profession, the insurance industry, Republicans generally, and most assuredly the new administration? You guessed it, place the burden on innocent patients and families, and taxpayers generally.
Medical Malpractice Myths
Much of the public has bought into the lies of Tort Reform and the Myths of an epidemic of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. Perhaps the greatest lie of all was the McDonald’s hot coffee case. It is taken as gospel due to the volume and persistence of the lie. The myths surrounding medical malpractice predated the McDonald’s case and have been pounded into the public consciousness for decades.
Tort Reform myths up and down were perhaps the greatest fake news of all in is complete disdain for the truth. It continues to this day while millions of Americans will die in the coming years. They are profit driven aimed purely at avoiding financial responsibility for the horrible harm that medical negligence causes.
Don’t Wait for it to Hit Home
Unfortunately, the public has bought into the myths. Chances are that many readers of this article have bought into it and will continue to believe it at some level even after doing their own research. It is only when it hits home that the reality sinks in. Consider this, the 400,000 deaths are a baseline. The numbers are exponentially higher when looking not just at deaths, but serious injuries more generally.
What do these numbers mean? They mean that you, your family, your friends or loved ones will at some point come face to face with the reality. The only question now is what you would be willing to do to prevent it? A good place to start is by contacting your state and national elected representatives to tell them that they must do more to protect patients, they must put patient safety over profits.
If It Has Hit Home Already, Get a Medical Malpractice Attorney
The fact is that for many readers of this article, it is too late to change policy. Instead they must deal with the harm to themselves or loved ones. Despite the gnawing in our stomachs over suing doctors and hospitals, this is the only way to protect yourself and your family.
The Albuquerque medical malpractice attorneys of Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached at (505) 242-5958.
Price poised to protect doctors’ interests at HHS – USAToday
Price poised to protect doctors’ interests at HHS As a Republican congressman, orthopedic surgeon Tom Price introduced bills to protect doctors’ financial interests…. But the bill also includes fine print calling for “lawsuit abuse reforms” that would allow the HHS secretary to give states money to create tribunals to review malpractice claims. The process would make it more difficult for patients to prove medical error, setting the standard at “gross negligence.”