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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Still waiting: Apology for a medical error

Jeni Dingman's plaint:

Today it will be 16 years ago that I lost my dear and wonderful mother due to multiple medical errors, miscommunications, and a flawed healthcare system that did not pay attention to the needs of patients and families. As there have been some changes in those years, years that I have freely given to a cause that I hope someday will save lives, 250,000 Americans still die every year due to medical error. The most important change has yet to come. It must concern communications, patient engagement, patient empowerment and partnering. This can ONLY occur if we are welcome and invited to participate by our providers. Most of all, patients and families must be listened to. I do not know what outcome might have occurred had clinicians listened to my mother and I so long ago, but do I know that my pain would not be as intense as it is every single day had we not been discounted, written off and ignored by those entrusted by our family to do the right thing. My mother was NOT anxious as the clinicians indicated, she was in trouble, and no one rescued her, no matter how hard I tried to get them to listen, they didn't, and they never ever apologized either, I am still waiting for that apology.

Thanks to Jeni for her source posting to Facebook.

Here in Massachusetts, many members of the Consumer Health Quality Council of Health Care for All have experienced errors in their families, but have not received apologies. We have filed a bill to encourage doctors and nurses to apologize for medical errors. We hope that any upcoming federal legislation about medical malpractice claims would strongly encourage, if not require, apologies.

Read a story about a hospital's apology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for apologies, as my treatment's been dehumanizing. Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed a simple surgery would cause me permanent pain and dysfunction, and that physician injuries would be denied. But, then to face neglect, falsified records, including xrays and MRIs, all while being mocked and jeered at!? In a search for affirmation and treatment, comments such as, "Do you know what the definition of insanity is", and regarding our rather large family, "Didn't you know what caused that", are further dehumanizing. What's happened to healthCARE in the U.S.? Think of the riptide affects of the behaviors and attitudes of the medical "professionals"!