| March 16, 2006
The wrong kidney was removed in an operation in Scotland.
< Previous post Previous Post
Next post > Next Post
Learn more about the book
Buy the book:
The best of KevinMD.com.
Only on Facebook.
Comments are moderated before they are published. Please read the comment policy.
It seems to me that there should be no liability for any doctor for anything. The courts mostly hold that if it is a “complication” then it has some statistical certainty that it will happen every once in a while no matter how skilled or carefull the MD. At least that is what the critical care aministrator told us regarding the butcher that killed my mother by perforating her colon. We were kind tried to be understanding but when we refered to the event as the “mistake” we were “pimped” by the whole team. Well it wasn’t a mistake, he screw up. And when any else besides an MD screws up it is called a screw up and the conciqueces fall to their appropiate places. But in the case of an MD if we substitue the word complication for screw up we can simply eliminate the need for cause thus no need for blame and responsibility. You doctors at one time operated under a veil of total secrecy to the people you treated. If it were not for the FDA you would still be treating (killing) patients with quack medical appliances. Now you find that you spend way too much time worring about CYA from frivolus law suits. What about frivolus treatments and turning trusting old people into billing cash cows?My mom did with out most of her life and saved $2000 to take care of her medical problems in her old age. HA! Of course we assured her that during all those weeks in the ICU were not dipping much into her money Ha! Ha! Ha! This blog is very good. It has given me an insight into how and what medical professional REALLY think. However you all should be very carefull with all this human disclosure because it is what has put you into your current situation and that is public education. EVERYONE now knows what is going on – the insurance companies were first they cut out all your “pet” procedures and long drug out “services”. A few of your MD traitors even came up with better and less invasive procedures and to your dismay that is all you could get paid for. Alas one of the final organs for the medical profession to exploit is up Americas collective ass-hole. But this is a good thing because this too will come to pass and maybe the profession will be forced to be as responsible and liable as a car mechanic who regulary make mistakes but they have never tied to tell me it developed a complication.I am in TV. I have spent a 35 year career helping others promote their products and themselves. I am as good at what I do as any MD reading this in their field.I always felt a sence of accomplishment in what I did but never really felt like it helped mankind very much. My mother’s tragidy has made me determined to retire and use all the skills, friends and political capital I have aquired and focus it on as much public scrutiny on the corrupt and arrogant elements of the medical profession.One old woman may just be a statistic and a 30 day medicare billing to you. But this one particular old woman may cost your profession more than you can imagine. Not from any court action but by the enlightenment of the public that MDs make MISTAKES like everone else. Even the biased court system that allows the theory of “complication” to overide responsibilty in medical cases.
Dr. Kevin Thank you for providing this forum for discussion. You need not block my IP or be concerned about my future disruption of this forum, I will not be back.I certainly hope MDs continue to find comfort and candid discussion at this and other sites. It is a facinating and educational window into your dark side, very much like listning to Dr. Hanible Lecter speak.Your only curse now is that you will never be able to look at another ass-hole with out thinking of me first.PSYour profession REALLY needs to come up with a better term than “comfort therapy” it smacks too much of “pillow for your face mam?”
Sounds like he didn’t win the lawsuit lottery…
MD’s-1, litigious son-0
The solution to the problem of easily prevented/highly costly injuries is simple–deter the behavior strongly.
I suggest removing the kidneys of the surgeon/nurses/residents involved with the surgery–or maybe their children’s.
This would motivate doctors to take necessary precautions–in the same way the airplane pilots are motivated to adopt safety techniques: it makes the doctor’s intimate well-being tied to outcomes. The airline industry has achieved remarkable safety levels–so should the medical industry.
You’re assuming that we are looking for a solution…it sounds to me like people like you deserve to be injured needlessly.
Anon 7:45…Why must you always be on the attack? Why does this person sound like she/he needs to be injured needlessly. Do you just pride yourself on hurting people who so obviously are already hurting?
Have you ever suffered even one small hurt in all your life? Were you sleeping during moral and ethics classes? Did your school not teach about compassion and dealing with upset family members.
Makes no difference because you aren’t really a doc!
kevin…i think you need to call 911 for that first poster…he is really unhinged…
Hell, he’s been letting one post here for months..
“Hell, he’s been letting one post here for months.. “
Yeah, I think I have seen this first guy post before railing against docs…I think he missed his risperdal dose.
“My mom did with out most of her life and saved $2000 to take care of her medical problems in her old age.”
I hope there are 2 zeros missing from that number…
If not, the money would have been better spent on a psychiatrist and some haldol for the son.
I thought I could read any comments to my post without my comments but unlike many of the God-like I suffer from human weaknesses and short commings.FYI there was no lawsuit. We refused to even talk to the hospital’s Risk Management. Me, my brother and dad paid for what MC and his insurance didn’t. We also paid for outside the plan wound specialist to come in after the hospital said there was nothing else they could do.It most affirming of your arrogant nature to think that MOST people would try to profit one penny from a loved one. Some do, some try but most do not. Just like most medical accidents – excuse me – “complications” should not and do not end up in court.If you REALLY REALLY wanted to make life for your medical profession much easier all you have to do is restore the public’s opinion in MDs. It would be very simple thing to do. The next time a MDs makes a MISTAKE instead of protecting and defending him no matter how bad a thing he has done, take his license and kick his ass out on the street. This is what happens to all us mortals. If the public witnessed the medical profession truly self policing its members you would not believe the posite impact it would have. But it ain’t gonna happen as you have no leadership, only a selfsustaining creed to defend even the indefencable to the end.THAT is why SOME people can find a great deal of satisfaction in punishing someone who has hurt or killed a loved one. If your profession had the strength to truly punish a MD who had done any wrong and not try to hide it from the public, punitive civil damages (and your insurance premiums would start going down) while public trust would go up.I am giving you jewels here but again it ain’t gonna happen. Why? I suspect that a criticl inside assesment and policing of your profession would result in civil war.
Tell us more…how did the doc butcher your mom? Did he perforate the colon during a colonoscopy?
Why would you want to knowingly harm someone’s child if they made a mistake? Do you understand the difference between a mistake and malfeasance? (sp?)
Crazy man explains we should “kick their ass out into the street” if people make a mistake, but once a 22 year old takes on the burden of a $150,000 debt and then is told he can’t practice the profession anymore, but still owes the debt, no one but the independently wealthy would be a doctor. I don’t know one person who is independently wealthy who continues to work 80 hour weeks in the service of the public. We are all so beaten down, once there is a light at the end of the tunnel, most go do something else.
The reason doctors get paid alot of money is that we have to make very difficult decisions which carry high risks. We are not paid alot of money because there is an expectation of perfection. That is an unrealistic expectation of any human being. I’m sorry that your mother had a bad outcome, but bad things happen to people. When lightning kills someone we call it nature. When a sick person dies in a hospital or nursing home we call it malpractice. b
I am a doctor but I really don’t think I’m arrogant. What bugs me , is when someone, like the guy above, obviously in the “anger” stage of his mom’s death, lumps an entire population of people together because of what he construes as the malfeasance of one. I got stabbed by a “negro” when I was 15, should I hate all blacks? ALL YOU DOCTORS is a pretty wide term. But he seems to hate nurses, administrators, anyone unfortunate enough to support their family in healthcare. I hope nobody wanted to end your career when you broke their tv while tryng to fix it.
Thanks to the lawsuit environment we already think of the worst kind of assholes when we look up into one. Has your blogging, venting therapy helped you at all?
True. It’s been 2 years since I’ve been able to look a patient in the eyes and not think…future plaintiff.
Organ perforation is a potential risk with most surgeries, is it not? I’m not a doctor, but I’ve signed many consent forms in my life for which that is listed as a rare possibility.
Was the “butcher” drunk or high on painkillers? Was he using the wrong instruments because he was too lazy to double check? Did he really not like your mother and just decided intentionally to kill her for the sport of it?
Or did the surgeon exercise all reasonable precautions and care, attempted to perform the procedure to the best of his ability, and yet it happened anyway.
No one can expect any doctor, or any human in any field, to be 100% perfect. We receive medical care knowing that it is being delivered by fallible humans. We can demand that these humans take their work seriously, use every bit of care and attention they have, but we cannot demand absolute perfection.
If one is unwilling to assume the inherent risk of trusting any human to perform a procedure, than one’s choices are to refuse medical care or learn to do surgery on themselves.
Very few people have the intellectual ability to become physicians, and for those who can, there are surely easier ways to make money (i.e. law school, business). There are plenty of well-paying jobs for smart people which do not require eleven to fifteen years of education and training! We’ll see what happens to the rest of the world when tomorrow’s brightest students decide the burdens of the job outweigh the rewards and there aren’t any doctors at all. .
Anon, 10:29 Not lumping everyone together is a wonderful idea. When do we start?If you read many of the posts on thsi BLOG you will read over and over how we patients are all lumped together. ” Dumbass patients like you, Your all just alike and waiting for a reason to hire an attorney so you can sue us.”
Are you kidding about patients shouldn’t lump all Drs. together?
It has to be a 2 way street.
I’m afraid “b” is confused and incoherent. Arrogance and self-importance has clouded his judgment–or maybe he’s not that bright. Let’s examine his “argument.”
“Why would you want to knowingly harm someone’s child if they made a mistake? Do you understand the difference between a mistake and malfeasance? (sp?)”
Two responses: 1. As it says in Exodus, “the sins of the father shall be visited upon the children unto the seventh generation” Do you dare question Mosaic law? Of course, you do, you’re an arrogant doctor.
2. Well, yes–under my proposal a few “innocent” children may be maimed–however, if that leads to the fewer people having this tragedy occur to them, isn’t it worth it? Indeed,wouldn’t we be morally obligated to remove the testicles, kidneys, breast of the children of those doctors who remove the wrong side organ? Doctors must taste the pain they inflict; only then will we get change.
“I don’t know one person who is independently wealthy who continues to work 80 hour weeks in the service of the public. We are all so beaten down, once there is a light at the end of the tunnel, most go do something else.”
Ohh–barf! Any stats on docs leaving medicine? Where is this exodus but in yr self-absorbed brain? There simply is nothing to support your claims.
You don’t work for the “public”; you work–like everyone else–for yourself. And that’s doctor’s problem. They insist upon seeing themselves as quasi-saints that they resist adopting the types of advanced management procedures that will save lives–as have pilots, etc.
“The reason doctors get paid alot of money is that we have to make very difficult decisions which carry high risks.”
Yes, precisely–and when you make an error, you should pay. Like a CEO who takes over a risky business–and will only stay in his position if he does well, a doctor should be rewarded if successful–and punished if he fails.
“When a sick person dies in a hospital or nursing home we call it malpractice.”
This is a lie. So few cases of malpractice go to trial–or are successful. Most victims of negligence do not sue. Get your facts straight, b.
Why does the amt of time in medical training keep getting higher around here? First I heard 7-10 years now it is 15 years?
If it keeps increasing at this rate you wont have to worry about practicing what you have learned. Get your license to practice and retirement papers all with one hand shake!
With all due respect to the Docs.. We hear you vent all the time. Remember the names you call us and how you want to hurt us when we visit your ER? Atleast a few of you do that. What is wrong with this man venting about what he feels was bad medicine towards his mother? He didn’t sue any Dr., so why not let him be p***** for awhile.
“To the first commenter that missed his/her risperidol dose — No where in the original post did I see if refered to as a “complication”. Nor does it say anwhere that there were not sanctions.”
Does this mean that that sometimes doctors are sanctioned by his group or hospital?
” I hope nobody wanted to end your career when you broke their tv while tryng to fix it.”
I do not fix tvs I work for network TV and I have seen career dirctors loose their jobs for making one missed switcher button punch during a $250,000 commercial.I also saw a news director loose her job for using the word NEGRO inapproiatly.Crazy man
I said 11-15 years education and training. They are as follows:
undergraduate: 4 yearsmedical school: 4 yearsinternship: 1 yearresidency: 2 years minimum, several more than that for most specialtiesfellowship (optional): at least one more year
Feel free to double check my arithmetic.
I am sorry for venting and I am obviously in the wrong place to keep up intellectually.
Someone just please explain to me the difference between a complication and where you could say the MD did something wrong. You guys say that a perforated colon sometimes is just normal. What specifically would a MD person have to do or not do to say they they had made a true mistake? This is all that is unclear in my mind. (please expand but no arrogant comments or non layman terms just this once)
“Does this mean that that sometimes doctors are sanctioned by his group or hospital?”
Yes, of course, on all different levels — group, hospital staff, state medical board.
“With all due respect to the Docs.. We hear you vent all the time. Remember the names you call us and how you want to hurt us when we visit your ER? Atleast a few of you do that. What is wrong with this man venting about what he feels was bad medicine towards his mother? He didn’t sue any Dr., so why not let him be p***** for awhile.”
No problem. Have at it. I am sure you realize as well that we may be venting a bit “over the top” as well after a particularly frustrating day — or in my case a lawsuit notice today on a case in which I did every conceivable possible, and can’t find an angle of fault even now with 20-20 hindsight.
I am not a surgeon but I know a lot of them and some are jerks. But no one purposefully wants to cut bowel. There is twenty something feet of bowel packed into your abdomen that is usually in the way and on top of what you are trying to fix so it has to be held out of the way with instruments and my get pinched or damaged. It is wet, slimy, slippery and flops all around while you are holding a razor sharp instrument or buzzing things with electrocautery. There is blood everywhere covering things and making instruments more slippery. If you weigh 300# pounds then all that is in the way. It is quite amazing that it does not happen more. In medical school I remember farting while scrubbed into a surgery. The chief surgeon smelled it and thought he must have perforated bowel and started looking for a hole so I had to fess up to my crime.
Likewise a gastroenterologist is performing biopsies 2 and 1/2 feet inside the colon operating an instrument through a tiny video camera. You are taking a piece of tissue and have to get enough to have a meaningful biopsy without perforating the colon. But as they say, sometimes Shit Happens
Exodus. Old Testament. An Eye for an Eye. The above poster believes in it, ie if a doctor removes the wrong kidney, they should come and remove the kidney of his child. I kind of agree. Mr. Network TV, guy who’s mom died of an ICU complication: I really didn’t need to see Janet Jackson’s Boob 2 years ago. It may not have been your fault directly but you’re involved, like the er doc who gets sued when a patient he saw has a bad outcome in the Operating room. I want you to go into the kitchen, get a knofe, and cut off your wife’s left breast. It’s only fair. An Eye for an Eye.
“Mr. Network TV, guy who’s mom died of an ICU complication: I really didn’t need to see Janet Jackson’s Boob 2 years ago.”
This is an excellent example of how smart you think you are but totaly ignorant of reality. The next time you watch that JJ clip pay carefull attention to how skillfully the technical director cut to the “money” shot at just the right moment. Almost like everyone in the truck knew it was comming. Wow! The network overlooked that apparent coincidence and only fined Janet. After all it was Janet that had the costume malfunction – excuse me “costume complication”
“Two responses: 1. As it says in Exodus, “the sins of the father shall be visited upon the children unto the seventh generation” Do you dare question Mosaic law? Of course, you do, you’re an arrogant doctor.”
I love it when someone uses religion in a logical argument. I believe that negates anything rational you have to say. I’m not angry with you, I’m sorry you are in pain from what happened to your mother, I’m just trying to point out that when complications occur not all of them are due to hatred an malice toward the patient (that is exceedingly rare). Most are due to human error. If you have never committed an error, then I’ll freely admit, I wish I was as smart and good as you. If you have admitted an error, then you are just as fallible as the rest of us.b
Crazy man (me) was NOT the person that posted the biblical post. My mothers tragedy was human error but how do you ever get to the point of forgiveness if the perpertrator never can admit their mistake.This is the key to the whole problem. We all make mistakes but the great and skilled intellect MDs that simply can never say “I screw up – I’m sorry” perpetuate the great wall. And it it this that makes MDs a target for peoples biblical vengence.
“I love it when someone uses religion in a logical argument. I believe that negates anything rational you have to say.”
I think what confused this poster was that they could not believe that more than one person (Crazy Man) could hold the belief that MDs were generally arrogant. A common mistake among MDs where arrogance is rampant. It is understandable that when bathed daily in arrogance a level that would disgust an outsider probably is viewed as mild compaired to what acute levels exist in that enviorenment. However do not get me wrong in MHO it is the TRUE kings and queens of arrogance that we need for they are often the best at what they do. It is an admiration for that success and tolerated arrogance that others want to emulate. It is the wanna-bes of the world that think they are good that cause the trouble. In the real world arrogance will not sustain your position in life. In the medical world it is believed that if you earn an MD and granted a license no one has the right to take it away for any reason. In most states if you do certain things you automatically loose your driving license. It is enforced everyday in number. But MDs loosing their lic.? hardly ever happens. Instead the profession sacrifices its immunity to civil attack for immunity from criminal prosicution. It is quite a clever stragic approach. The MD side may loose a battle here and there, but their side only sustains SOME material loses never looses a soldier to death. On the patient side they often loose all their material, sustain great disfiguring, life altering injuries and many die.Without criminal prosicution on this battlefield MDs should not feel too badly about having to deal with the civil complaints. If lawyers a so devilish who does MDs get to handle their cases?
What the hell are you rambling on about?
Medical licenses are suspended and revoked all the time. Check your state board’s website. My old FP had to retire from practicing in my state because it was determined that he had a consentual sexual relationship with a patient (who later became his fiance).
Driver’s licenses are revoked for intentional illegal acts (DWI) or gross patterns of negligence leading to repeated citations. I can assure you a similar standard is in place with medical boards. We don’t strip people of their driver’s licenses because they are caught speeding once or accidently cause a collision.
And if a doctor tells his morbidly obese patient that he or she is fat, the doctor is disciplined by the Board of Medical Licensure. It’s getting hard here to be a Doc.
“FYI there was no lawsuit. We refused to even talk to the hospital’s Risk Management. Me, my brother and dad paid for what MC and his insurance didn’t.”
You should have filed a lawsuit. You need to find out from a lawyer if you can still file a lawsuit.
On the other hand, I don’t believe this story. My gut feeling is that this man’s story is a fabrication to elicit response from doctors and I think he hasBorderline Personality.
There is a lot of ‘shit-happens’ in medicine. The human body is imperfect, it becomes diseased and mortality is after all 100%.
Removing the wrong kidney is no different than my mechanic replacing the wrong headlight. The mind wanders, gets distracted, misreads a film that is on the light box backward etc. Because of the relative irreversibility of wrong site surgery, a much greater vigilance is warranted in medical practice than in many other service industries. Wrong site surgery is always malpractice, falling below the standard of care, and the health care system must do everything possible to restore as much function as possible for the injured. Financial payment, to the extent that it can mitigate for the consenquences of the error should be offered freely without waiting for the conclusion of litigation that might be years in comming.
I must disagree with the somewhat inhinged posters who insist upon physically punishing members of the physician’s family. Should we have members of the orthopedic group ‘work on your knees’ if you don’t pay your bill. I think not.
“does kevin have liability if a mentally unhinged person posts on his blog and he doesn’t do anything about it?”
What if Crazy Man takes your specfic and labled diagnosis of his condition seriously?What if he finds someones old prescription of HADOL as prescribed and posted here?What if no one informs him that it very likely will effect his existing diabetic condition?What if he dies as a result?What if they seize kevins server?What if the court finds that you guys are guilty of practicing medicine over the internet and from your hospital’s computer to boot?What if they discover you were claiming to be working 80 hours a week on MC patients?Where will this madness end?
“You should have filed a lawsuit. On the other hand, I don’t believe this story.”
This is the kind of decisive thinking we are expected to trust?
Anon 7:06, if you cannot find all the obvious inconsistencies in the man’s writing,you won’t be able to understand. You, too, have a congenital neuron deficiency.
“You, too, have a congenital neuron deficiency.”
The best doctor I ever knew had club feet. He seemed OK in spite of the markers.
Past 6 Months
site by Out:think Group
Welcome to KevinMD.com, social media's leading physician voice.
Get free updates delivered to your inbox.