04 Jun Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Deaths
The peer-reviewed Journal for Patient Safety estimates that medical malpractice causes more than 440,000 deaths in the United States each and every year. John T. James, A New, Evidence-Based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated With Hospital Care, 9 J. Patient Safety 122-28 (Sept. 2013). That more than quadrupled the U.S. government’s 1999 estimate of up to 100,000 medical malpractice deaths (using much earlier data), which itself was an eye-opening shot across the bow of the secretive healthcare industry. Yet the admittedly conservative estimate of more than 251,000 by two Johns Hopkins physicians published by British Medical Journal in April, 2016, supports that the prior Journal for Patient Safety’s 440,000+ evidence-based deaths estimate is most accurate after all. It is time for patients/voters, elected officials, lawyers and judges not to tolerate the culture of secrecy fostered by the big-business healthcare industry, which predictably shields and thereby perpetuates medical malpractice; and instead to mandate sunlight, accountability, and reform.