Medical Code of Silence Injures Patients
I came across this post from a concerned pediatrician about problems with the self-regulated medical industry, and with our legal system:
As I have blogged before, I am following a case supposedly heard by the NC Medical Board this week (as of this morning, I have an e-mail in to the Board requesting a status report - since NOTHING has appeared on their website except some stale legal filings). It's a case well over two years old (at least that's when I got involved - pulled into a nightmare because I had the misfortune of being on-call that night) . . . a case that SCREAMS for a whole lot more than just a slap-on-the-hand.
I have not been invited to testify. Allow me to do so here.
This guy has hurt patients (repeatedly). He was doing it long before I came on the scene. In the case I was called in to manage, he callously INFLICTED a horrific head injury upon an innocent that, in any other setting, would have warranted charges for child abuse. Moreover he has placed colleagues - scrambling to deal with the consequences of his mis-steps (nurses and doctors and administrators/hospitals alike) - in the line of fire.
It's inexcusable. But my fear is that the Medical Board will find a way to excuse and minimize his behavior. Meanwhile, every clinician (doctor or nurse) involved in (or looking in on) his screw-ups is supposed to keep his/her head down and say nothing. We're not supposed to have (strong) professional/personal opinions about what he's done. We have to worry about getting sued ourselves because our names are all over the charts of the cases we tried to clean up. We must cower in fear because, in our sick/warped medicolegal environment, the truth of what he's done still might not protect us from him suing us because we sad, "Enough already!". It's total BS. (Emphasis added.)
I once saw a news article comparing the medical code of silence to that of mobster Tony Spilotro who had the philosophy, "Nobody talks, everybody walks." Any plaintiffs' attorney will tell you that it's difficult to get a doctor to testify against another doctor, and any doctor will tell you there is enormous pressure not to testify against colleagues.