Dr. Flea speaks

Eric Turkewitz interviewed Robert Lindeman yesterday in an e-mail Q&A. Here’s one question:

When you were creating the posts about trial preparation, you must have known you were playing with fire. What were you thinking?

What is this, Saturday Night Live? Naturally, I was not thinking clearly. A better question might be “Why were you not thinking?” Here’s why not:

I was under a tremendous amount of stress. This patient’s catastrophic death struck me and everyone else involved in his care as a complete and utter surprise. I had been trying to help this boy, and he suddenly and unexpectedly died. Never, until the moment the process server showed up in my new office, did it occur to me that what I had and had not done could be construed as malpractice. When I opened the envelope and read these things about my being “negligent, careless, and without skill”, I picked up the phone and called my personal lawyer. I thought I was being accused of manslaughter. I had suffered the loss of a patient and now I was being accused of having killed him, or so I thought.