Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tort Reform is not the answer

I was injured by an orthopedic surgeon's decision to perform absolutely unnecessary surgery. I trusted that physician. While I was wobbling around on crutches and the three surgeries failed, I became sad.

The orthopedic surgeon's colleague put me on antidepressants, tranquilizers and a host of other psych drugs.

That nightmare started in 2000 at Carle Clinic in Urbana, Illinois. Then the orthopedic surgeon shrugged his shoulders and said he did not know what to do. Okay. Terrific.

In 2007, that Carle Clinic Association surgeon stated under oath that he did not know why I wanted the surgery - he said I (the patient) talked the surgeon into surgery. Then the CCA surgeon stated under oath that I had no balance and fell down a lot because he suspected I was an alcoholic.

I went to Duke University to see if they could help me. Four surgeries to repair what the Carle Clinic physician did.

Illinois Department that disciplines physicians? "His actions and comments are of concern to us but we cannot discipline a physician after the passage of 4 years!"

Illinois medical malpractice case?
1. I got the requisite letter from another orthopedic surgeon stating that the fellow physicians' actions were outside the reasonable standard of care.

2. HOWEVER, the American Medical Association, AAOS and my then current treating surgeon's employment make it very difficult for a treating physician to testify for a patient in a medical malpractice case. So, I had to drop the case.

Am I still hurt?
1. Yes. My law license was suspended during the period of time I was hobbling on crutches and being fed psych drugs and pain killers. But I take responsibility for any harm I did to clients. I just am not practicing law.

2. My left knee is still messed up. Maybe because the tibial osteotomy (necessary to fix the Carle Clinic surgeon's mess on my ankle) is slightly off.

3. I used to run, bike, swim, hike, ski. Now? I limp and fall. (And I an a non-drinker)

I am sick and tired about hearing that plaintiff attorneys are evil. What about the patients that are really injured like me?

I am in favor of patient safety and competent doctors as a preventative to the medical errors. But face it, medical errors exist. And ObamaCare promises everyone will get medical care. But what about patient safety and doctor competence?

Nothing is ever free.

p.s. The responsible doctor at Carle Clinic? Chris J. Dangles, MD. And as part of his defense against my claims? Dr. Dangles (either personally or through his employer) have his defense attorneys my mental health records!! Ummm, HIPAA?

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