Medical Malpractice Mayhem in Massachusetts
That’s a lot of M’s. It’s attention grabbing, though, and its purpose is to draw attention to something that needs some attention! Medical malpractice is real, folks. Most often, when people hear the term “medical malpractice,” they think of an instance of a medical practitioner making a mistake: botching a surgery or prescribing the wrong dosage of a medication or binding an arm cast too tightly or so on and so forth.
But sometimes medical malpractice is the doctor’s version of getting rich the Bernie Madoff way. That is, sometimes doctors intentionally cut corners and cut costs in an effort to save time and save some dough, all the while putting their patients in tremendous danger. A typical example of such malfeasance is when a doctor decides that it’s not absolutely necessary to perform an instrument count prior to and following a surgical procedure. If this easy and required step is thrown by the wayside, the doctor might accidentally have left a surgical instrument inside their patient’s body and not know!
There have been countless instances in which patients have – days, weeks, months, even years later – discovered that one of their doctor’s surgical tools was accidentally left in their body following some invasive surgery. Oftentimes it is discovered when the patient tries to go through a metal detector at an airport and they’re stopped because the detector senses a piece of metal in their leg. Surprised and shocked, they go to get an x-ray, and voila! The x-ray reveals that a scalpel, or some other instrument that only a doctor would use, is sitting in their body. Now, that type of incident certainly falls under the umbrella of “negligence” because the doctor actively elected not to perform an instrument count as required by law.
Here’s a very recent example of medical malpractice that’s even more negligent (if you can believe that). A former dentist in Massachusetts had admitted to fraudulently billing Medicaid for the use of stainless steel posts in root canals he was performing on his patients. Here’s the problem: he wasn’t using the stainless steel posts, he was using paper clips! The dentist defrauded the Medicaid program out of $130,000. To add insult to injury, he’s also been found guilty of assault and battery, witness intimidation and illegally prescribing prescription medications.
So, the next time someone tells you that medical malpractice litigation is bogus and it’s all a bunch of frivolous lawsuits, you’ll know better. Medical malpractice – all forms of it – lead to people getting seriously hurt. And the most disturbing part of the problem is that sometimes the doctors who make the “mistake” made no mistake at all; sometimes the doctors knew exactly what they were doing wrong.
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