Medical mistakes are unfortunately not uncommon. What is uncommon, however, is a doctor who has made a medical mistake facing any type of substantial repercussions for injuring a patient.
According to an investigation conducted by The Kansas City Star, several doctors in Missouri and Kansas never face any disciplinary actions by state medical boards, despite being the subjects of Missouri or Kansas malpractice lawsuits.
After reviewing the National Practitioner Data Bank, which contains information on malpractice cases against doctors, reporters found that 21 doctors in Kansas and Missouri have made over $65 million in payments to patients since 1990. These lawsuits were the result of deaths caused by doctors, as well as mistakes such as operating on the wrong part of the body, leaving instruments inside of a patient during surgery or making the wrong diagnosis.
Despite these problems, The Kansas City Star found that very few of these doctors were suspended by a medical board or had their hospital privileges taken away.
This trend is not unique to Missouri and Kansas. According to a report released by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, it was revealed that 32 states fail to reprimand doctors who have been sued for malpractice – despite the harm that these medical professionals have caused their patients.
“One of two things is happening, and either is alarming,” Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the director of the organization’s Health Research Group told the Orlando Sentinel. “Either state medical boards are receiving this disturbing information from hospitals but not acting upon it or, much less likely, they are not receiving the information at all. Something is broken and needs to be fixed.”
If you have been injured by a doctor, contact a medical malpractice attorney. By hiring an experienced lawyer, you may be able to collect damages for your injuries, as well as be compensated for your pain and suffering.