- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
Hospitals are Committing Manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter is usually defined as a accidental death caused by gross negligence where it reaches a level of a wanton disregard and the person charged should have known better as any reasonable person would.
Doctors and nurses are always held to a higher standard than the average non-trained person in hospitals, yet, they are human and can be negligent to the point where a death occurs from it. It happened exactly 98,000 times a year according to the Institute of Medicine. If the medical care did not kill you, than there is a good 25% chance a patient will be harmed by medical errors. Unlike, deaths caused by airline crashes, the deaths caused by hospital staff via gross negligence are mostly unknown and the medical community rarely becomes aware of it resulting in a doctor or nurse being charged. Many doctors see and know of mistakes other doctors\nurses make, yet, remain silent. Surgeons operate on the wrong body part as often as 40 times a week.
When a death occurs in the hospital, it is usually presumed it had nothing to do with the care received and it was all "natural". Yet, 20-30% of all tests and medications have been found to be unnecessary according to the same medical studies.
It was found that doctors that "rat" on other doctors regarding their method, practice and mistakes, are often assigned to duties in the ER or duties more fitting of a nurse. Some are bad mouthed and discredited in job reviews. Most newbie doctors or surgeons remain silent and look the other way when superiors obviously make errors. The hospitals themselves, unless a spotlight is on them, remain far in the background and publish such statistics because of public perception. Nurses also remain silent many times when a doctor obviously makes an error simply because nurses are taught that doctors are superior. It is the medical culture in hospitals. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, only 50% of the doctors follow the best practices in their fields. It was also found that in many colonoscopies, doctors rushed through them without looking at every part of the colon for cacer and polyps. This means that the patient may go home thinking it was okay, when in reality, something was missed and allowed to grow and spread. Simple items like hand washing is another loose cannon that can spread infections in hospitals, enforcement is near impossible.
A survey was taken of 65 hospitals in the USA for teamwork, a little less than half of them indicated the teamwork on the staff good. Only four indicated it was 100%, eight indicated teamwork was at 25%. The majority were between 25-75%.
Patients need to ask and challenge doctors\nurses, review any procedures to make sure everyone understands, cameras should be installed in hospitals and operating rooms to make sure medical staff are not slacking off, and the code of silence between medical staff members needs to vanish.