Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saving Lives

AS you may expect, I have the utmost respect for doctors, nurses, and all of those in the medical profession. What they do, day in and day out, is save lives. It's not easy, and they're not perfect, but I am here because of some fantastic medical and mental work.

That's not to say that doctors are perfect. I've met some that are complete...well, fill in the blank. They're people, not God. Some are fantastic, some are average, and some have the bedside manner of a cobra. I'm able to overlook personality issues if the doctor is fantastic at what s/he does. (Fortunately, 99% of my doctors are lovely people.) When my life is on the line, these are the people I trust to do what they have to do to keep me here.

And, again, that doesn't mean there haven't been mistakes. There's the burn on my right arm, which required the skin graft. It was a mistake. But you know, doctors are human. They make mistakes. And, in the long run, it doesn't affect me in any way but cosmetically (and who cares?). They saved my life. Rather be alive with one scarred arm than dead with two perfect ones.

Why am I talking about all this? Because this story in my hometown paper really makes me angry. This young man had a disease that is rare, and that could have killed him. The doctors at OSU saved his life. Yes, his legs are amputated. Yes, his life is vastly different now. But he is alive. And for that, his family is suing 15 doctors and 2 hospitals? It infuriates me.

We could've sued, too, after my parents discovered what happened to my arm. And yes, for awhile, it was touch and go as to whether I'd still have it (thankfully I was in a blissful, epidural-induced euphoria and didn't know about that part until it was well over). In that great phrase, "S*&t happens." Yeah, it does. But I'm still alive. And so is he.


Jane said...

UGH! People like this endanger quality care for EVERYONE!

Healthcare workers shouldn't be making decisions based on the likelihood of getting sued but on the likelihood that it will save a person's life!

I could go on for ages but I won't. But OH MY GOSH I would like to have a talk with that family.

Emily said...

Jane, thanks! I was hoping people wouldn't think I was being insensitive or something. This made me so mad I just had to write about it here.