Almost 30 years ago, in 1984, the Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 98,000 Americans were dying each year from medical errors. Recently, updated statistics were published in the Journal of Patient Safety indicating that number is now nearly 210,000 preventable adverse events each year that contribute to the death of hospitalized patients. One of the main reasons suggested for the significant increase in preventable deaths is “the medical industry’s move toward higher productivity and expensive technology, which encourages rapid patient flow and overuse of risky, invasive, and revenue-generating procedures.”
While deaths from preventable medical errors have increased so dramatically since 1984, there has been very little in the way of legislation or any other efforts from lawmakers to make patient care safer in the United States over that same time period. Even worse, while there’s been no focus on patient safety, there have been significant efforts by legislators across this country, both on the state and federal levels, to continue to protect doctors and hospitals from the financial responsibilities of these deadly errors.
Ohio is a prime example of the inverse relationship between an increase in medical errors and the lack of protection being pursued for patients.Over ten years ago, Ohio passed so-called “tort reform” in an effort to reduce the number of medical malpractice lawsuits and other types of litigation against medical providers. The evidence is clear that the law has reduced the number of medical malpractice lawsuits and other professional liability cases by nearly 50%. But during that same period of time, medical errors and deaths from those medical errors has more than doubled.
Thus, the question is quite obvious: Why does the legislature continue to make efforts to protect those who kill and harm patients in Ohio and at the same time do nothing to protect those who are injured? The likely answer is that patients, their families, and the lawyers protecting those patients have very little access to lawmakers and very little influence to change things in Columbus, Ohio.
The same can be said on the federal level when it comes to federal legislators. While insurance companies and doctors spend millions of dollars lobbying lawmakers to protect their financial interests, there is no possibility of patients and their families generating enough money to have that same type of influence with lawmakers. How high will the number of deaths from preventable medical errors have to go before lawmakers can no longer ignore the obvious need for legislation that protects patients?
If you want your voice to be heard and your loved ones to be protected when they’ve been injured by preventable medical errors, the medical malpractice attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci are here to help you. In this era of laws that have become overprotective of doctors and hospitals, it is inevitable that you will need the assistance of an attorney to prove that your loved one or you should not have been injured or ultimately killed by sloppy and preventable medical errors.
The attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci have been representing victims of medical negligence and protecting the unalienable right to jury trial for Ohioans for more than 30 years. For a no-obligation consultation, contact us today.