Your regulators will protect you -- NOT

I think a $1,000 fine for killing a baby is a bit light. Don't you? (Excerpt from here)

"Because of the lack of information available to the public about our doctor's malpractice history, what my wife, Christine, and I didn't know could have saved our son Ian's life.

When our doctor gave Christine a small brown envelope of pills, with handwritten instructions to "take every four hours," it was impossible to know he had eight previous malpractice claims and restricted privileges at the local hospital. We later discovered this drug was not approved for this use. If we had been given the drugs at the pharmacy it would been boldly labeled explicitly stating it was not to be taken by a pregnant woman.

The drug caused violent, extreme contractions, smothering Ian. After hours of suffering, he was born blue and lifeless -- not breathing and without a hearbeat. Ian was revived and lived, but with severe injuries. He required around-the-clock care and ate through a feeding tube. His mind would never develop beyond that of a 6-month-old infant. Ian died at age 4, due to complications from his preventable injuries.

We filed a complaint with the state medical board. After a two-year wait, the board finally agreed with our accusation. But while the board found the doctor guilty of malpractice and misconduct, it simply issued a $1,000 fine. This obstetrician, who has injured at least two other babies after Ian, continues to practice.

Because of what happened to our son, I helped draft Initiative 336 -- a measure that will hold doctors, lawyers and the insurance industry accountable. It puts patients first by implementing measures that would allow them to know their doctors' complete malpractice history. Had this been in place when Ian was born, we certainly would have selected a different obstetrician.....

Less than half -- 44.7 percent -- of doctors with five or more malpractice payouts have been disciplined by Washington authorities or a state medical board, according to a recent Public Citizen study. Currently, the few bad doctors who cause the majority of medical malpractice incidents have no incentive to change their ways. I-336 will make this small population of bad doctors accountable for their actions".

Comments? Email John Ray

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