Florida EMTs may go bankrupt because of a malpractice lawsuit

An ambulance service was recently held liable for failing to “do what was necessary” before accepting emergency transport of pregnant patient.

A child was born at 25 weeks gestation — 15 weeks premature — and was not breathing. Babies born at this age have a viability of 50-70%. In other words, up to half of children born at this age of gestation die. The family called 911. The paramedics arrived, performed CPR on the child, and brought the child back to life. I know a lot of physicians who would have difficulty resuscitating such a premature infant.

These paramedics should have been commended as heroes for saving this child’s life.

Instead, they were sued and found liable for $10 million.

The plaintiff attorney stated that “the paramedic should have evaluated her before they transported her.”

In its verdict, the jury found that the ambulance company “was negligent by accepting the transport task” and the company showed “reckless disregard” in rendering its services.

So instead of getting to the mother as soon as possible, getting the baby out, performing CPR, and saving his life, the attorney apparently believes that the paramedics were supposed to diddle around arguing about whether or not to transport the mother to a hospital. Good idea. Let’s write that requirement into all future Florida EMS protocols. We can call it the “Kelley Amendment” — named after Bob Kelley, the plaintiff’s attorney in the case.

After the verdict, the ambulance company may soon have to determine whether it can stay in business.

A past-president of the American Ambulance Association is quoted as saying “EMTs and paramedics will go on the call until lawsuits like this break the bank and they can’t go anymore. That is $10 million that comes out of the ability to provide care, and the community will suffer because of that cost.”

As I’ve asked in the past, which is more important — perfect care or available care?

Jurors in Florida’s Volusia County seem to have made their decision.

It will be interesting to see whether the jurors’ decision to award an additional $10 million to someone who had the benefit of excellent care yet who experienced a bad outcome will affect the future availability of emergency transport in Volusia County and other Florida counties.

My guess is that few EMTs will want to work in Volusia County any more.

Regardless of the verdict, you EMTs are still heroes in my book.

WhiteCoat is an emergency physician who blogs at WhiteCoat’s Call Room at Emergency Physicians Monthly.

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  • http://www.midnight-confessions.com/ Sandra

    I could see the point of a malpractice suit in a horrible outcome, but what’s the point when they have a happy one? Even, yes, a joyful, miraculous one?

    Maybe they SHOULD have done something else. Maybe they COULD have done something else. But if they did that something else, would everything have turned out as well as it did? There’s no guarantee of that. Just be happy that you have your miracle… and let others have theirs, too.

    • http://drrjv.com drrjv

      We need to scrap the whole legal system!

      1. Juries are not sophisticated enough to understand complex medical cases and rely on emotion.

      2. Health care practitioners can’t do their job trying to second guess our crazy legal system.

      3. People with real malpractice issues are not served by our onerous system of justice.

  • MillCreek

    Actually, there was a bad outcome. The linked article states that the infant sustained brain damage and cerebral palsy. Which of course is very debatable as to if this occurred as a result of delivery or prior to.

    Speaking as a former paramedic and a current healthcare risk/medmal claims manager, this article piqued my interest on two issues.

    A pretty novel argument by plaintiff counsel that the paramedics should not have relied upon the ED physician orders to transport, but instead should have done their own assessment as to transport suitability. I wonder what the EMS Medical Control would have said to this if the paramedics had called for guidance in this regard.

    Also, I note in the article that the EMS insurer had the opportunity to settle for the $ 5 million in policy limits but allegedly did not do so. If true, then I predict a subsequent settlement between $ 5 and 10 million to ward off the bad faith lawsuit by the EMS agency and/or the county. With this fact pattern, I doubt very much that the insurer will pay off their $ 5 million in limits and leave the EMS agency or county to pick up the remainder. The only real scenario in which this would happen would be if the EMS agency insisted on going to trial even after you warned them in writing of the potential for an excess verdict and that they would be liable for any amounts over policy limits.

    I don’t know if Florida has any sort of tort limits or governmental immunity that may apply, but I suspect that this will still be an expensive case for the insurer.

  • MillCreek

    PS: I also note from the article that the paramedics delivered this as a breech and did the neonatal resuscitation in the back of the medic unit during the transport. Quite the situation to be in.

  • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

    Unbelievable. Yet alas, very believable.

    Perhaps this RIDICULOUS verdict will be overturned on appeal.

  • NeuroDoc

    The irony here is that the transport was needed in the first place because high-risk obstetrical services were not available in the region.

    A key reason why there are very few such programs in Florida is because of its notoriously hostlile legal climate surrounding health care. As high-risk specialties are scared away, this sort of problem will become all the more common.

    This was a no-win situation. If they kept the patent at the originating facility without the proper services, the outcome (cerebral palsy) would have likely be the same or worse, and the facility would have been sued for NOT transferring. When will juries ever understand that a bad outcome does not automatically equal fault?

  • ninguem

    Precisely what is it that the ambulance personnel do wrong to justify this huge award?

    What is it that they did, that they shouldn’t have done?

    What is it that they failed to do, that they should have done?

    Reading this article, and a Google search of the matter, I’m still not clear what it is that got them sued.

    • jsmith

      Practicing in Florida was their crucial error.

  • Matt

    Of course, the ambulance service may also turn a profit this year too. No one knows at this point, because not a single dollar has been paid to anyone other than the party who settled prior to trial.

    The insurer will pay its limits, and maybe more rather than face a bad faith claim from the ambulance service.

    Speculating about whether or not an entity will file bankruptcy when you have no knowledge of their financial position is either scare tactics or ignorance.

    • DBerry

      What’s any of what you said relevant? EMT’s saved the baby’s life… you would have had them refuse the transport and put both mother and baby at risk. Bet you and Sarah Wet Behind the Ears are both Dems.

      • Matt

        Did you read the headline?

        You really don’t know what happened, because you haven’t read one record. At least one physician has read the records and disagrees with you. Novel concept, knowing the facts before forming an opinion eh?

        And no, I’m neither a Dem nor a Repub.

  • jerry

    Wrongful Life Lawsuit. Sigh. That says it all in my book.

    The plantiff argued successfully that the EMT should have told the ER MD and the OB MD accepting the transfer of the patient, “No, I refuse to transport this patient to a higher level of care because she might birth in our ambulance. I have conducted an independent examination of the laboring mother and have determined she is not safe for transportation out of this emergency room.”.

    • Matt

      Wrongful Life Lawsuit? That’s not what this is at all. Try again.

  • SarahW

    I’m not sure I’m ready to accept the fact situation as described.

    I await direction to a more balanced accounting of the case, from what the plaintiff’s alleged, the facts stipulated, the evidence and testimony presented.

    • DBerry

      … you sound like a first year law student showing off.

      • DBerry

        … sorry… meant ambulance chaser.

    • MillCreek

      In that case, you will want to pay to have the trial transcript transcribed and then read it. It is also possible that this case may have been written up in the monthly newsletter of either or both the Florida plaintiff personal injury or the insurance defense bar groups.

      • Matt

        Not sure how anyone can draw a conclusion about the correctness or lack thereof of the verdict without reading the trial transcript.

        • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

          Matt, please. The VERY LAST place I expect the whole truth to come out – or common sense to prevail – is in a Court or a trial transcript.

          • Matt

            So instead you rely on a newspaper article? Hmmm, that doesn’t sound very wise. If nothing else you’ll have the defense take in the trial, which you’re already inclined to believe without knowing the facts.

  • ninguem

    http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-05-19/news/os-chart-ambulance-verdict-20100519_1_ambulance-cpr-premature-infant

    Timeline: Ambulance birth of Addison Chess
    May 19, 2010|By Ludmilla Lelis, Orlando Sentinel12:05 a.m., Sept. 21, 2003: Margarita Chess, about 25 or 26 weeks pregnant, arrives at Bert Fish Medical Center complaining of labor pain and contractions.
    Dr. John Milton, the Bert Fish emergency room doctor, examines her and determines she is in the early stages of labor but tells her she must go to another hospital because Bert Fish has no birth center equipped to care for such a premature infant.
    Milton calls Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach and speaks with obstetrician Dr. Thomas Stavoy. Though Halifax has a neonatal intensive care unit, Stavoy said the hospital lacks some of the specialists for babies born before 28 weeks’ gestation.
    Patient Transport Flight Experts Medical Flight Quote 1-800-353-7427 MedCorpAir.comAirMed Ambulance Services
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    Stavoy doesn’t accept the requested patient transfer and decides Chess should be sent to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. Though the distance is more than an hour’s ride, he determines that based on Milton’s initial exam, it would be “extremely unlikely” she would deliver in less than an hour.
    Milton calls Arnold Palmer Hospital, and the hospital agrees to take Chess. He also calls EVAC ambulance to transport her.
    The ambulance arrives and transports Chess. Fifteen minutes into the ride, her water breaks, and she suddenly gives birth to Addison, who was born breeched and had trouble breathing.
    The ambulance paramedic performs CPR and uses an oxygen mask on the baby.
    The ambulance was diverted to Central Florida Regional Medical Center in Sanford, about five minutes away. Both Margarita Chess and her son were later sent to Arnold Palmer.
    Addison Chess, now 6, weighed 1.7 pounds at birth and suffered a lack of oxygen to the brain, leaving him with cerebral palsy.
    Source: Volusia County court records

    • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

      And I’m still wondering. HOW did the lawyers/a judge & jury turn this into (fiscally greater) liability for the EMT’s stuck in the middle (of what was essentially an EMTALA war) . . . EMT’s who (in all practical reality) cannot over-rule the doctors?

      What if the EMT’s had refused to transport the baby (despite agreeing doctors’ orders) and the same thing had happened? Wouldn’t that be “reckless disregard” or negligence as well? It’s like lawyers expect healthcare providers to have crystal balls. You’re damned if you do (save a life – albeit a less-than-perfect one) and you would be damned if you didn’t.

      First, this woman was in an ED, NOT on an OB unit. This article (of course) does not say if the woman was actively laboring (simply describing what was going on as the “early stages” of labor at this gestational age is a bit of a medical cop-out), or how dilated she was or if the membranes were bulging or if they had even done an ultrasound to determine the baby’s position. Was her cervix re-checked after all the wrangling-on-the-phone-over-transport and the doctor’s “initial” exam (because these women can progress very quickly). Many factors come into the decision to transport – and how/when to transport.

      But some premature/laboring women are too far gone to go out (particularly on “a bus”). They must be delivered where they are (no matter what the resources), and the baby managed by those primary-care providers unfortunate enough to be answering the phone that day. Then the neontal team is called (these days many NICU’s will not dispatch a team until AFTER the baby is born).

      25-26 weekers have NO guarantee of perfect outcomes even when things are done perfectly. The success of this kind of lawsuit against the EMT’s who saved this child’s life (and YES, Matt, it IS a kind of “wrongful life” lawsuit) is madness, John Edwards-style.

      But Obama says we don’t need IMMEDIATE reform (let’s do some 20-year studies) – ergo it was not a part of the healthcare bill. The man’s wife may have been an (over-paid/”non-profit”) hosptial executive, but HE IS CLUELESS!!!

      If you want people to talk care of these women and children AT ALL, these ridiculous lawsuits/verdicts MUST STOP.

  • DBerry

    … but according to Obama we don’t need tort reform.

    • Matt

      How does this case prove or not prove that we need the feds to take over state law actions?

      “Hero EMT workers were defamed and bankrupted by the utterly corrupt trial lawyer industry.”

      Since you’re “SmartDoc”, perhaps you can explain how these EMT workers were defamed or bankrupted.

      • Smart Doc

        Only a profoundly dishonest person could say that these EMTs were not defamed and suffered no negative financial outcomes.

        • Matt

          Again, you stating your opinion cannot substitute for facts.

          At this point, it’s unlikely that a single dollar has been paid by the individual EMTs, much less their insurer (other than the defense costs the insurer paid). Can you show otherwise?

          Likewise with defamation, a term you must not know the meaning of.

    • twicker

      Wrong. According to Obama, we DO need tort reform — more specifically, the kind of health courts long advocated by Common Good, and which Obama mentioned in his campaign:
      http://commongood.org/healthcare.html

      This would be medical malpractice reform that would result in better patient outcomes. However, it doesn’t have the kind of “We Hate Lawyers!” venom that the cap on punitive damages has.

      Further, at Obama’s direction, AHRQ handed out pilot grants to states to fund programs to reduce medical malpractice costs. Now, you can say that it’s not enough money, or you can use the Heritage Foundation’s argument that states should just look to Texas and Mississippi and not take *any* federal money, but it’s just completely inaccurate to say that Obama doesn’t think we need tort reform.

  • SmartDoc

    Hero EMT workers were defamed and bankrupted by the utterly corrupt trial lawyer industry.

    These outstanding professionals deserve our admiration, not to be ravaged by a bunch of sociopaths in $3000 silk suits.

  • Primary Care Internist

    if the AMA had some balls they should put out a blitz of TV and newspaper commercials highlighting this case. They could have a bunch of EMTs and physicians reading a transcript of the case, interspersed with dramatic re-enactments, and further interspersed with Obama’s speech to the AMA denying (or minimizing) the need for tort reform.

    Then they could put out big numbers on the screen:

    AMOUNT THESE LAWYERS MADE IN THIS CASE

    AMOUNT TRIAL LAWYERS DONATED TO OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN

    NUMBER OF HIGH-RISK NEONATOLOGISTS IN VOLUSIA, FL

    NUMBER OF HIGH-RISK OBs IN VOLUSIA, FL

    it should be no less dramatic than the endless ads from ambulance chasers on TV.

    • Matt

      If you’re suggesting we limit what two private parties can pay each other for services, just do so. Then tell us how many physicians and of what specialties the medical community will guarantee the citizens of Volusia County.

      Let the people know what you’ll give them if they give you what you want.

      Physicians want all this reform in their insurer’s favor, but won’t ever commit to any guarantees on what the public gets back.

      Also, the Obama numbers are pretty irrelevant because state jury trials on common law causes of action aren’t a federal issues. Principles of federalism and all that.

      By the way, ever read the Declaration? Interesting reference to trials there.

      • Primary Care Internist

        I don’t guarantee anything. In fact, there are no guarantees in life. No guarantees of available EMTs, Obstetricians, Neurosurgeons, etc. No guarantee of a healthy uncomplicated birth process.

        Everything works it way out on the basis of incentives. And right now there are lots of incentives for lawyers to sue, and little/no incentive to practice OB in volusia.

        RIght now the incentives are screwed up, if stuff like this happens. And who gets rich in the process???

        As long as people like you think it’s better to sue doctors than to have doctors (a la Obama and almost all of congress), then this is what we’ll have.

        No guarantees. And no promise of the most skilled people available to care for you when you crack your skull open in a motorcycle accident.

        • Matt

          Only someone who has never handled a med mal case thinks there are a whole lot of incentives to sue. If there were that many incentives, there’d be a lot more malpractice claims, considering that the vast majority of malpractice never even sees a claim file, much less a courtroom.

          “RIght now the incentives are screwed up, if stuff like this happens. And who gets rich in the process???”

          Who “got rich”? The lawyers spent years of their lives and tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of their own money. The patient has no doubt millions in medical bills, both past and future.

          “As long as people like you think it’s better to sue doctors than to have doctors (a la Obama and almost all of congress), then this is what we’ll have.”

          People don’t think this. Never have, as the number of claims v. the number of incidents of malpractice shows.

          • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

            Matt, really. All the hours the lawyer put in (?) – the lawyers who (as a species) pad and inflate their bills literally by the minute” – billing for every note and phone call.

            The patient has millions in medical bills.”

            Really? Now who is making an assumption? The child has special needs and (at least in my state) qualifies for every program/aid under the sun until he/she is 18 and beyond.

            The child certainly deserves good care (no on is arguing against that). But if you were a uber-cynic, you could call these verdicts double and triple and quadruple dipping into the public’s pockets (because, as you say, the EMT’s aren’t going to be picking up this bill).

            This verdict sends a very clear message and is an incentive to sue.

  • http://nostrums.blogspot.com Doc D

    EMT’s police, and fire fighters are heroes. They never know what they’re getting into. That takes a lot of courage.

    What ever happened to Good Samaritan laws?

    • Vox Rusticus

      Good Samaritan laws do not apply to those responding to emergencies in a professional capacity, including EMTs.

  • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

    I can’t seem to reply to Matt up-top, so I will here.

    Matt, what I believe is based on my own professional experience (a good chunk of which has been spent dealing with situations just like this – i.e. transporting a Mother or premature/sick child from Podunk to the big city) . . . not to mention all the “fun” I had in Courtrooms (fighting hosptial executives covering up a big stink) watching lawyers twist and distort AND EXCLUDE the truth to $uit their purpo$e$.

    These EMT’s got screwed on all sides and you’re clapping your hands with glee. It fits with your online persona here, but forgive me if I don’t join in the applause.

    And if you don’t think being sued wrongfully or frivolously IS being defamed, TRY it sometime. It’s VERY personal.

    OBTW, sometimes you WILL get more from the newspapers – even the tabloids. Just ask John Edwards.

    • Matt

      “These EMT’s got screwed on all sides and you’re clapping your hands with glee.”

      Mary, you’re not reading what I wrote. I have no idea if they got screwed or not. For the simple reason that I haven’t seen the actual evidence in the case. As it stands, I’m inclined to defer to those that have.

      I find it hard to believe a complex multi-day trial can be summarized in a few hundred words any more than a complicated medical procedure can.

      I’m certainly not gleeful. A lawsuit is a difficult experience (and I’ve been sued – and not for something covered by insurance). And a lawsuit is in effect a disagreement put to others to sort out. And people these days have little tolerance for disagreement of any kind, much less those involving significant sums of money. And, as your comments so eloquently illustrate, even after those 12 people who have heard the best case both sides have to offer have made a decision, it’s entirely likely that the losing party will still be very unhappy and no less convinced that they were at fault. But that’s simply a fact of life – there is no way to make everyone happy in a dispute every time.

      All that being said, though, it is unlikely a single dollar has been paid yet, and it’s even more unlikely the individual EMTs will ever pay a dime. And as to defamation, unless you’re misusing the term, there is none.

      • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

        Matt, I can assure you I’ve read every comment you’ve made.

        It matters NOT to me that these individual EMT’s will likely not pay out any money themselves (because they are insured). That just means that in the end, the people who will be paying are you and I.

        OBTW, your argument is playing to the, “You’re not suing the doctor/nurse/EMT” card that the trial lawyers love to play – telling patients, “It’s not personal” at all.

        And that’s just a LIE. You ARE suing the doctor and it IS personal. And when you do it wrongfully or frivolously is IS defamation in the truest sence of the word (of couse, we all know that “legal” doesn’t always mean “true”). I mean, come on. You are accusing competent/conscientious people of being imcompetent and negligent.

        It matters to me that this lawsuit included the EMT’s (in classic “shake-the-tree” fashion) and, because they/their insurance carrier apparently banked on the lay-jury being principled and having some common sense, penalized said EMT’s (who actually saved the child’s life) even MORE than the doctors involved. It’s madness!

        Again, EMT’s cannot over-rule doctors. Where I come from, they’re not allowed to do vaginal exams. If they see a body part, they deliver the baby. Prior to that, they must be able to trust the MD’s judgement – key word, judgement.

        I’ve also heard the argument that the definition of a good settlement is when no one walks away happy. Well, there are some cases that should not be settled AT ALL – and some verdicts that just make no sense and should be challenged/appealed.

        I’m also wondering, was the baby/child rolled into the Courtroom to prejudice the jury? That would be a classic John Edwardsy move.

        From what I’ve seen so far, if there was any blame to be assigned in this case (and I’m still waffling on that), it lays at the feet of the ER physician who made the decision to ship the apparently actively-laboring, extremely premature (i.e. “unstable”) Mother out (remember the term “GOMER” from House of God – i.e., “Get Out Of My ER”?). It’s his lot in life to deal with whatever walks in the door, and it would have been far better (from a legal standpoint) for this child to have delivered in the more controlled environment of an ED (as opposed to the back of an ambulance).

        Of course, like the EMT’s, he’s damned if he does (ship out) and damned if he doesn’t.

        But EVEN THAT IS a very hard call to make without actually seeing the medical record – ALL of the medical record (not just the parts that may have been presented in Court) – and hearing what the doctors had to say.

        Based on what I know of this verdict so far, I’m not sure lay-people should be even hearing these cases.

        We really do NEED some tort reform. We NEED it NOW – as opposed to ten or twenty years from now. And it should have been part of the healthcare “reform” debate – such as it was.

        Obama dropped this ball bigtime. And for that, I sincerly hope the voting/paying public shows him the door come next election, and we can, at some point, reverse some of the damage he’s done.

        • Matt

          I realize the Constitution is overrated to many, but it still has some effect. How exactly is the federal government going to federalize state law claims?

          “That just means that in the end, the people who will be paying are you and I.”

          No it doesn’t. Only if you believe that insurance is a straight dollar in-dollar out game. It’s not, so your conclusion is faulty.

          “OBTW, your argument is playing to the, “You’re not suing the doctor/nurse/EMT”

          Read again. I’m simply saying that no one has paid anything. In fact, as I haven’t seen a pleading, I don’t know which individuals were sued.

          “You are accusing competent/conscientious people of being imcompetent and negligent.”

          You make a common mistake in equating incompetence and negligence. If I’m a good driver all my life but run the stop sign that one time and kill you, I may have been negligent. But I’m not incompetent. And I should have to pay for the harm I cause.

          “Based on what I know of this verdict so far, I’m not sure lay-people should be even hearing these cases.”

          SInce what you know doesn’t include any of the actual evidence, I’d say your conclusion is at best premature.

          • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

            Matt, I think several of us here would appreciate it, it you’d can the not-so-subtle put-downs.

            The Constitution is NOT over-rated to me. Indeed, I think it’s taken a real beating in recent years.

            “Since what you know doesn’t include any of the actual evidence, I’d say your conclusion is at best premature.”

            DITTO

  • Panacea

    This certainly is an interesting case. I’m curious to read more about it, and I wonder about the true liability in this case.

    Dr. Johnson states the EMT’s can’t override the ER doctor. I’m not so sure that is true. If the patient is unstable for transport, I think the medics have an obligation to refuse to transport until the patient IS stable. That’s the heart of EMTALA.

    And I’ve seen ER docs try to transport unstable patients . . . hoping to get them into someone else’s hands before things go horribly bad.

    Regardless of the facts of this case, however, President Obama and health care reform have nothing whatsoever to do with it.

  • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

    Panacea, you simply cannot put these EMT’s in the middle of two physicians. They are not qualified to over-rule.

    You can muse all day about their “obligations”, but I can tell you right now (with twelve years of woe behind me) that obligations and ethics will not save your job in the real world. And when they don’t, NO ONE WILL CARE.

    President Obama promised reform. What we got was more of the same entitlement-laden mis-mash – with little very input from physicians (well, except the AMA and they’re not speaking for anyone but themselves these days), no correction of existing problems, and a very big bill.

  • surgical resident

    I don’t agree with everything Dr. Johnson has said (I voted for Obama), but I do agree that the EMT’s should not be placed in a situation where they could disregard two physicians. An EMT has no business evaluating a patients ability to be transported to a high level of care.

    Like Matt, I have not read the case so I will reserve judgement. However, unlike Matt I do think malpractice is a big problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have figured out a good way to fix it.

  • http://www.drjshousecalls.blogspot.com Dr. Mary Johnson

    That would be fine if I believed that Matt has “reserved judgement”. From his comments, I think that ship has sailed.

    You are a resident – still practicing under the umbrella of academia and reliant upon a hospital for your living. You voted for Obama. Fair enough.

    You have your point of view – and I have mine – after almost twenty years in primary care and a stint in Federal service – a huge portion of that time BEGGING for help from progressive/forward-thinking people just like Obama (in and of his party) – not to mention a whole lot of time in Court. Shortly, because none of them EVER did what they promised to do, I may be going back.

    Still waiting on that hope & change.

    I would say that I cannot imagine how these EMT’s feel. But actually, I have a fairly good idea. There but for the grace of God . . .

    • twicker

      We’ll go back to the fact that this is still a state, not a federal, issue. Out of curiosity, other than the pilot programs that Obama has already announced, what else would you have the administration do in this area, where they have little to no leverage? We could spend more money on it, sure, but the Republicans are stopping every bit of spending — even that which makes sense.

      Then again, this would be spending for doctors and against lawyers, and wouldn’t help anyone who’s unemployed because of the recession, so maybe the Republicans would fund it …

  • Steve

    This world is just full of people who wants to make a quick buck, specially with all the personal injury law. That’s why the legal business is still thriving in this tough economy, because people just love to sue.

    I would understand if there is a true medical malpractise involved, but for someone to use this excuse and make a quick buck on the back of their child (whether living or deceased) is just despicable.

  • Indiana Paramedic

    Im a Paramedic in Indiana…. I have been working EMS for almost 15 years at every level…. I am now a paramedic… Im not in this field for the money… i take great pride in helping people…. I took a transfer the other day, where the patient was on the edge of life, not really stable, but they surly would have died at out local hospital…. We gotto the hospital without any problems…. i was not only treating my patient the best i could, but pray’n the whole way…. But, reading this and see’n what could have happen if my patient may have taken a turn for the worse…. makes me question is this job worth the long hours and low pay??? I really dont care about the pay, but i just dont know if its worth it anymore…..

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