Hood Mentality

The consequence of hood mentality.

In the hood, lots of folks are looking for a payday. Be it by "falling down" at the grocery store, or selling things on the street that....sell. A great number of people bitch and complain about paying a $50 copay, but pull up in a pimped out Escalade with spinning wheels and a $400 cell phone. The ultimate consumers.

Well, in medicine this trend continues. And, apparently, many of the frivolous lawsuits are initiated by people just looking for a payday at someone else's expense.

At the Kingdom, there was this young guy...who was racing his motorcycle on the freeway. He fell, got crushed, and was brought in to our trauma center. The surgeons patched him up, but after a month long ICU stay (and hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills paid for by you and me), he still couldn't walk. He had a pelvic fracture that required a 'special' (complicated) orthopedic procedure to *possibly* correct his problem. There were only a couple of orthopods in the city who performed this procedure. The issue was, the 'complicated' surgery was very labor intensive, time intensive, and the end-result was based largely on patient compliance...and evenso, the results were unpredictable. The surgeon was concerned that the patient: 1) wouldn't/couldn't pay him, so he'd be working essentially for free. 2) then the patient is a dumbass, and will probably *not* be compliant with follow-up 3) and finally, when the results weren't what the patient expects (which would be 'perfection' and the ability to get back on his bike and crash again)...he'll turn around and sue the surgeon.

So, here is a patient...that no orthopod will touch. It's not worth it to the surgeon. This is a skill that he has spent years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, perfecting...and to not only *not* be compensated for it...but then have to *pay* in the form of a lawsuit, for an expected complication/outcome...just didn't appeal to these guys. So...this patient, 3 years out from his accident, is still unable to walk...and no one will even attempt to correct his problem.

Then there was the guy that presented to the ER after some quack manipulated his spine, causing a rupture of his vertebral artery (in his neck). All the docs saw *lawsuit* on this patient's forehead...and he died because no one wanted to get involved. No one wanted to perform an intervention....and have the patient die as a result...only to have to explain to a jury (a group of folks with no medical knowledge or experience), that he did nothing wrong. So, all the subspecialists sited one contraindication or another to avoid getting involved. And, of course, the patient died.

If I ever get hurt, I hope I can convince the doctors taking care of me that...

*I will not sue you if you do your best...even if you make a mistake...even if the outcome is suboptimal*.

If you can do that...convince the doctors that their best is indeed good enough...you'll get (better) care.


Petri said...

Perhaps we need a form at ED's now that you can sign waving your rights to sue with the exception of gross negligence, i.e. physician shoots you in the head or surgeon sews a cat into your bowels. If you sign it all the doctors feel comfortable to actually help you because they know you won't sue.

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