Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sumpin' fer Nuttin'

Seems like more people are suing their docs and hospitals these days. I'm certainly getting plenty of work. But the stuff I'm seeing now differs from what I saw 10 years ago. Back then, most of the cases were pretty focused and even if not meritorious, at least I could see the connection between event and outcome and could understand a patient and his family thinking something went wrong.

Now, most of the cases I see not only are unfocused, but are totally unrelated to the events at hand. Many of the cases are nursing home cases that involve people in their 80's and 90's who have dementia of one sort or another, and finally die, frequently of simple old-age-related conditions. But because the person died, the family wants to be paid. Huh? "Aunt Hattie," whose closest relative is "great-nephew Barty" who lives 3 states over and never came to see her, finally dies and "Barty" thinks the nursing home "owes" him? For what?

Or the person who has chronic heart disease has a heart attack 3 days after having a perfectly normal stress test. Well, bad things happen to good people. Modern medicine isn't magic. It can't predict all conditions. And it isn't as if the person didn't know he had a bad ticker.

Some cases I do understand, and end up agreeing that there was a breach of the applicable standards of care. But all these cases I'm seeing these days are very frustrating to me. They are just giving me a bad taste in my mouth. Is this where the country is going? Everyone gets something for nothing?


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