Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Medical Malpractice

In one of many recent cases of medical malpractice, The Birmingham News reported last week that an Alabama woman received an overdose of anti-nausea medication, slipping into a coma for 26 hours before awaking with stroke-like symptoms such as having to relearn words. She and her husband had no idea that the attending doctor had previously roamed from job to job, and reportedly had over 100 malpractice suits brought against him between 2002 and 2003..

“These doctors lose their license to practice, only to move to another state with another license,” said Allan Zelikovic, head of the Medical Malpractice Unit at Weitz & Luxenberg. “Better coordination and cooperation between states, malpractice insurance companies, and hospitals or health care organizations, would avoid most of these activities,” he added.

Zelikovic contends that our medical information-sharing systems—vastly improved from 25 years ago—are not being utilized. As a result, said Zelikovic, “The public continues to be victimized and good doctors and hospitals are vilified by the few bad apples.”

In an article in last Saturday’s paper, The Birmingham News reported that the doctor, Christopher Martin, has left a trail of open negligence suits in his wake. Among those pending cases are accusations of maiming or killing patients through medical malpractice.

Martin, reportedly, has surrendered or lost his license to practice medicine in at least five states, and allowed it to expire in two others. Most galling is that to date, Martin may still practice in seven other states where he has managed to maintain a medical license.

No comments: