Medical patients in Massachusetts rely on their doctors to provide them with the best care possible. While doctors cannot solve every problem, their many years of medical school, residency, and additional training provide them with skills far above and beyond a layperson. Certainly, no one is perfect, but the stakes are very high when a doctor error occurs. The result of a mistake can be life threatening and have a long-term impact on a patient’s future.
While all patients hope that their doctors are accurate in diagnosing and treating a problem, the truth is that medical errors are the sixth most common cause of death. That means that a large percentage of Americans are receiving substandard care.
Just how egregious is doctor negligence? In a recently surfaced report, a hospital was fined $22,000 for preparing a woman’s body for organ donation without realizing that the woman was still alive. The patient had been admitted to the emergency department after overdosing on drugs. Despite the fact that the woman still exhibited reflexes and could move her tongue and lips, her mother was told she was dead. Her mother agreed to organ donation, and preparations were made for the surgery to harvest her organs. The woman woke up immediately prior to the time when doctors were planning to cut open her body.
When doctors do not meet a proper standard of care in any medical situation it can be helpful to bring the situation to the attention of a medical malpractice attorney. The injured person may be able to recover medical expenses and other compensation where appropriate.
Source: Yahoo News, “Patient awoke to doctors mistakenly preparing to remove her organs,” Eric Pfeiffer, June 9, 2013