Being the victim of a surgical error can be a deeply frightening experience. You trust a doctor to make you well put your life in their hands, and when you wake up, something has gone wrong. The effects may be short-lived. They may last the rest of your life. They may even prove fatal.
The nature of surgical errors often draws attention. Recently, the New Yorker reviewed a new podcast called “Dr. Death,” which explores the story of one surgeon in Texas who left a string of injured or dead patients in his wake. The series runs in a thriller format, encouraging the listener to enter the story and, from the beginning, envision themselves as a patient of the main character.
To be clear, using personal suffering as the premise for an entertainment program is problematic, as the review discusses. But the New Yorker review point also points out that the show really does explore some of the cases and the circumstances that allowed them to happen in the first place.
Issues with the surgeon’s personality and habits are discussed, as well as questions about his training. But it is a lack of oversight, in the end, that seems to do the most damage. Due to limits on what must be reported, especially when a doctor is released from a medical center under specific systems, matters that need to be brought to the public’s attention can become secrets that fail to follow a bad doctor as their career continues.
Accountability is the key
The most effective means of stopping such doctors from continuing to hurt people is accountability. The doctor who drew the attention of “Dr. Death” is serving a life sentence now, but getting there required the combined efforts of the Dallas County district attorney, a lawyer, a journalist, and the state medical board. By intervening with their respective abilities and spheres of influence, they were able to bring his actions to light and ensure he could not continue to harm people. But it wasn’t an easy task. And not all dangerous doctors are brought to justice.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error, you deserve justice for any suffering you have endured. You’ll also be doing a public service for future patients. Because of your actions, other people will hopefully know about such negligent actions in the future. Your efforts will become part of the physician’s permanent history. Even a relatively minor injury may prove to be part of a much larger collection of concerns that will only be brought to light with the investigation.
Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.