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Disappointed writes:

The Medical Procedure article states, "The top issue is tort reform". How is tort reform going to lead to better medical care and less medical mistakes? Unfortunately the American Medical Association has other priorities than better patient care! It seems the AMA's mission is to lower their members insurance premiums while protecting the doctors with higher than normal error rate.

Same ole, same ole writes:

TORT REFORM FIRST OF ALL!!! Same ole, same ole with a sneaky twist.

Selby states: "It all goes back to money, and the patient often is the one that ends up getting hurt. That has to stop."

I agree that for the doctors it all goes back to money. I also agree that the patient is often the one that ends up getting hurt. I also agree that that has to stop.

But, my take on all of this is: The patient often is the one that gets hurt or dies because of MEDICAL ERROR. And my feelings are also: These medical errors have to STOP!!!

The so-called concern for the "patient", is a farce. Their concern is for the doctors, medical workers and insurance companies.

How can you doctors build any closeness with any patient, when all you see is $$$ in one eye because of the money they will bring you, and $$$ in the other eye, because of the money they might cost you because of a potential lawsuit? Something to think about, patients.

Tell you what, Dr. Selby. The best way to stop medical malpractice lawsuits, is for the doctors and other medical providers to STOP MEDICAL ERROR AND WRONGFUL DEATHS! That's the sure answer right there in a nutshell!! Just like abstinence stops pregnancy. It will work every time!!!

Selby also states: "The injured patient should be reimbursed, but some awards are overwhelming."

Always the DOCTOR, eh, Dr. Selby? Never the father, or grandfather, husband, or son?

When the motive is to PROTECT, PROTECT, PROTECT THE DOCTORS, MEDICAL WORKERS, AND INSURANCE COMPANIES, please don't try to pass it off that you are so concerned about the "patient".

I'll bet you and your doctor buddies think that ANY lawsuit against the medical profession, be it medical error or wrongful death brought on by medical error, is "frivolous".

You might change your mind if the person that suffered the medical error or wrongful death was YOUR LOVED ONE! If that were the case, would you still be ALWAYS THE DOCTOR, and never the father, grandfather, husband or son?

If so, you're worse than I thought. God, help us all!

elcox writes:

See my recent letter to the editor. Medical negligence takes lives, causes injuries

In my letter I quote a recent AARP article that speaks of the 98,000 to 120,000 deaths a year attributed to medical error in the US, that is a large number. Not as high as the recent casualties from the tsunamis but staggering none the less. With these kind of numbers, you can certainly assume a good number of them are not going to court. There are many survivors of medical error casualties that never know what really happened to their loved ones. It is unfortunate that the recent response of the medical community as well as politicians (funded by that same medical community?) is not quickly bringing aid to the families who are survivors of this kind of a disaster, instead they are spuing statements about "frivilous law suits" and minimizing the experience of these families who have suffered great loss. Actually, if a family is savvy enough to discover what happened and brings this information to the attention of the hospital with the hopes of making changes in the processes that contributed to that death and is faced with an unresponsive hospital (or owning corporation) that refuses to acknowledge those deficient processes, then these same families are left with no other alternative but to seek legal council. It is very unfortunate that the medical doctors and hospitals support a climate of minimizing their losses and financial responsibility when patient care does not meet standards, rather than increasing the standard of care they provide. I agree with Same ole, same ole; if they would just weed out the system problems that potentiate error that leads to these deaths, then it would be a win win for the patients and the docs. Lessen the needless deaths, take responsibility when things do happen and learn from those things to prevent further problems. Seems simple, doesn't it?

Ramey writes: "I work for a Dr. in California and I see first hand how people want to point fingers at a Dr. anytime something goes wrong or is not quite right."

I SAY: You must believe these "people" don't have a right to question Drs. about what happened to them or their loved one. Maybe that's because you work for a Dr. in CA & want to believe in doctors at all costs. Should these people just blindly believe their Drs. did everything right? Or, should they do what society is encouraging them to do which is question their Drs.? I believe they should question them. If they have done nothing wrong, they can stand up to the scrutiny.

YOU SAY: "Drs. practice medicine and they do not have the answers to everything. Accidents happen and I am not saying that Drs. should not be held accountable."

I SAY: Thank you for at least acknowledging that. Sometimes, though, they DO have the answers they need, & still don't treat until it's too late. I know you don't believe that, but there's documentation this has happened.

YOU SAY: "It is funny though when something does go wrong a family sure can put a $ on the mistake. There should be a limit to these malpractice lawsuits."

I SAY: You must believe these families don't have a right to put a $ "on the mistake". Ramey, I bet the people who've lost their loved ones to negligence & medical error would GLADLY say, "You go right ahead & keep ALL your money, WITH THE CONDITION YOU BRING MY DEAD LOVED ONE BACK TO ME ALIVE & WELL." I know my family would! There's NO LIMIT to the grief people feel in this situation. It goes on FOREVER! NEVER a reprieve! NEVER a limit to their loss, as you wish there was "a limit to these malpractice lawsuits." They have to endure the rest of their lives WITHOUT THEIR LOVED ONE. I bet you hope you don't ever go through that. So did we.

YOU SAY: "I have seen 1st hand how people look for mistakes to try and blame the Dr."

I SAY: You & I have both covered this earlier.

YOU SAY: "I also am involved with many Drs. because I have a handi-capped child who requires a lot of medical help."

I SAY: I am very sorry.

YOU SAY: "Honestly, I probably could have held someone responsible for her disabilities but why, what would that prove?"

I SAY: Poor Ramey & your poor child! I guess you think you've been noble by this attitude. But really you're an ENABLER! You're enabling the Drs., etc. This is a displaced loyalty. Your loyalty belongs to your CHILD, not the Drs. You didn't hold your medical providers responsible, as many don't. If you & many others HAD held them responsible, maybe the message would go out loud & clear! "YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO MY LOVED ONE & GET AWAY WITH IT!" Maybe if more people had sounded this alarm before it happened to our loved one, they might have been AFRAID to try what they did to ours! If WE keep silent, as well, how many MORE victims will they feel emboldened to hurt by their deadly negligence & medical error?

YOU SAY: "It is not too often that a medical mistake is intentional."

I SAY: I know many times medical mistakes are not intentional. But, they are all careless. But when Drs. & medical providers don't treat in a TIMELY FASHION things that put the patient at extreme risk, & the medical providers have been made aware of, then that is an INTENTIONAL decision on their part to withhold treatment until they get around to it. TOO LATE!!!

YOU SAY: "With that being said if the government does not do something about these frivolous lawsuits, next you will be complaining about the lack of Drs. and medical care."

I SAY: More is not always better. Nobody needs bad Drs., etc. But we do need good ones. We aren't going to get rid of bad Drs., etc., though, when the medical profession continues to protect them.

YOU SAY: "Something has got to give and it is ridiculous how much money Drs. have to pay for their malpractice insurance." I SAY: Well then, let them have the courage to weed out the bad Drs., etc., themselves, instead of protecting them.

YOU SAY: "I guarantee if we had to pay this much for medical insurance you would be making a fuss like the Drs."

I SAY: That is true. But, I am not the one that is guilty of negligence and medical errors that result in untold injuries & wrongful deaths. Are you? I'm sure you aren't either. So, once again, let them have the courage to get rid of the bad Drs.

Sick and Tired Dad writes:

I agree with same ole when he asks the fine doc when he says "never a son or husband or an uncle?". It is impossible for someone who has not been in the horrifically unfortunate position of losing a precious person to ignorance within the medical system, to truly say, what is right or wrong. The medical system has attempted to make itself an untouchable entity through years of propaganda, painting a picture of pristine beauty where all is well and quiet, although we know this is not true and NEVER has been. It is time that we, as a society break through this wall of illusion and DEMAND more accountability from within the profession. A family should not have to hire an attorney to get answers to questions that are pertinent to their loved one's care. It is my sincere hope that there are a sufficient amount of people out there with testicular fortitude to question the system as it is. Until there is a loud enough voice from the masses more parents will be asking the same questions as I have. What went wrong and why?

Tammy Kennedy writes:

If the state would prosecute criminally the negligent homicides that are being perpetrated by the so-called expert medical profession then perhaps that is the answer to the problem. Good luck with that one, they are too busy going after the innocent family members who are trying to stop the needless and brutal mutilation of their loved ones. Or at least that is what I saw, and yes the Enid News and Eagle ran the cover story when it happened.

I say either hang the guilty parties, or shut up your complaining when it comes time to foot the bill. I'd prefer to see them hang, just so you know.

All mistakes not the same writes:

All mistakes and errors are not the same. If an employee at the soda fountain makes a mistake and puts in one more scoop of ice cream than you ordered, the loss is minimal.

If doctors, nurses, etc., make a mistake with you or your loved one, it can mean wrongful death or a diminished life. Doctors, etc., that hide behind the apron strings of a flawed medical system that protects them no matter what, should go serve banana splits at a soda fountain and take their administration with them.

It is a very serious matter to be in charge of a patient when the Dr., etc., holds the life or death of that patient in their hands. And then, when they screw up, blame the patient or their family when their malpractice insurance goes up because the injured try to get justice for their loss.

People that kill on the street are taken into custody and prosecuted. Doctors, etc., that kill through medical error hide behind their administration and excuses like "Everyone makes mistakes", "Accidents happen", and "nobody's perfect".

If killing and harming your patients doesn't bother you, go dig ditches!

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Originally posted on the Enid News & Eagle Web Site