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Hospitals are Committing Manslaughter

Updated on September 26, 2012

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.


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    • teresapelka profile image

      Teresa Pelka 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      It once happened a person told me she was going to see a state instituon medic about her real, ongoing health condition and I asked her if she was suicidal. I didn't mean it the 100% percent, but I meant it.

      The account is not about America, it's about a faraway country where you get tetracyclines without a lab test (the bacteria are always happy with new immunity), you die of a bone fracture without dyslocation (who cares if tight casts make blood coagulate and stop the heart - if you complain, you're probably just hysterical), and the dentist would ask if you want any painkiller at all (probably, after all, you could choose to have the procedure for some auditory impression only).

      I took her private healthcare. It might be not absolutely indispensable in a country like America, but the right to pay is the right to choose really.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      It is probably worse.

    • profile image

      Tone H 5 years ago from North Carolina

      You are quoting the definition of "involuntary manslaughter" and not "manslaughter" in general. The Institute of Medicine report that you are referring to is well known and discussed in many areas of healthcare. However, that report came out over 12 years ago and was using studies from the 80's and 90's so those numbers probably aren't accurate anymore. Also, the report stated that the amount of preventable deaths was between 44,000 and 98,000, so your quote of "exactly 98,000" deaths is inaccurate. While preventable deaths are still a concern much as been done to correct the problems since this report originally came out.

    • u-turn profile image

      Arthur George Rettell jr. ( 5 years ago from AZ. STATE

      Amen and the code of silence between LAW ENFORCEMENT also can hinder truth. But the judgement call ! LIKE YOUR ARTICULAR way of writing..