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People are Dying Every Year due to Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is the bane of the medical profession like no other leading to doctors being left with few choices in many instances but to limit their practice or get out of it altogether.  Take the rash of obstetricians several years back getting out of the business of delivering babies and opting for decreased services to women, in essence limiting their obstetrics choices.  But the real problem lies with the amount of people dying every year due to a variety of mistakes that could have been avoided were it not for their doctor’s blatant oversights.

How often do we see x-rays on the nightly news where once again someone has been sewn up with medical instruments and sponges left inside of them?  Isn’t that someone’s job in the operating room to account for all of the tools of the trade at the end of the day, so to speak?  Medical mistakes account for an estimated 225,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone, depending on which statistics you read, leaving medical malpractice as the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.

The death toll for cancer patients in the country has been on a steady decline over the years with an estimated 22 percent drop with a projection of roughly 550,000 deaths for 2011 while death from medical errors continues to be on the rise.  So what’s leading to this disturbing trend?  For starters, a chronically overburdened health care system and, as stated earlier, fewer physicians willing to practice along with an overall decrease in new med students hasn’t helped the matter any.  And these deaths aren’t strictly from botched surgeries.  They come in many forms from misdiagnoses and prescription errors to flagrant ineptness on the part of the physician.

To add insult to injury, many states are insisting on instituting caps or limits on monetary sums that physicians can be sued for but continue to aid in protecting them from the public’s right to view their personal practice’s track record, which begs the question: just whose side are you on, anyway?  We tend to think of our elected officials as being there to serve us, as that <i>is</i> why we elected them in the first place.

Kansas has even gone so far recently as to pass a bill encouraging doctors not to inform mothers to be of possible birth defects or issues that could potentially affect the health of the unborn child or mother in an effort to deter them from considering the possibility of terminating the pregnancy and then prohibiting the parents from suing them in the event their suspicions were correct.

What kind of insanity is this, and where and when did it all go so wrong?  A better question might be when did our elected officials get in bed with the AMA?  It would seem to me that if we can reduce the incidence of cancer-related deaths we surely ought to be able to curb the death rate as it relates to medical malpractice.  Perhaps the entire system needs an overhaul because it appears we’re long overdue for a change.

Sources:

<a href=’http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/mistakes/common.htm’>http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/mistakes/common.htm</a>

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