Johns Hopkins, one of the most respected medical research institutions in the Country, estimates in a recent study that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical mistakes. To put this number in perspective, on the Center for Disease Control’s official list, that ranks medical errors just behind heart disease and cancer, which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014. It puts medical mistakes in front of respiratory diseases, which claimed about 150,000 deaths. To put it in further perspective, automobile accidents only claim about 30,000 lives each year in comparison with those other causes.
That’s a fairly monstrous and tragic waste of life, no?
And yet what do we hear from the American Medical Association? What do we hear from the medical malpractice insurance companies that constantly whine in the ears of lawmakers about a “medical malpractice crisis” (which doesn’t exist, and which is fomented entirely by the medical lobbies)?
We hear whining and alarmism, but no actual facts or truth. We hear about cries for “caps” (limits) on medical malpractice verdicts without any justification whatsoever as to how that would make medical care safer, even though it would certainly make medical malpractice carriers and their executives richer by limiting recoveries to the victims of medical mistakes.
We hear bullshit. We hear lies. We hear unsupportable positions. We hear these positions echoed by conservative lawmakers and even ignorant “middle ground” lawmakers who don’t know any better, and who don’t bother to learn for themselves that they’re being lied to by the medical establishment, that establishment clearly adhering to the maxim that if you tell a big enough lie often enough, people will eventually believe it.
Well, I suggest the next time someone tells you that “medical malpractice” is somehow a problem “created by lawyers” and that the current justice system is somehow “unfair” to doctors and hospitals, point them to the link to the Johns Hopkins study:
I’d also suggest you read the link yourself, so that you can have an educated opinion; perhaps you change a few hearts and minds. Most importantly, think about this when you vote for State and Federal representatives in the next election cycle. You don’t want friends of the medical industry or of the insurance industry making decisions about whether or not you have the right to hold sloppy and careless doctors and hospitals accountable for what they do to you and your families. You want people ready to challenge the powerful medical lobbies and to speak the truth about how lawyers protect your rights in court.
If no one is accountable, no one is safe. You want the statistic to go down? You don’t protect doctors. You hold them accountable. It’s how we raise our kids. It’s common sense.
And it’s about damn time that a study came out conclusively proving it.