Letter To the Editor of the Sacramento Bee
Mr. Baker's Editorial entitled "Medical mistakes, not lawsuits are the problem". published in your paper on
Sunday, February 2, 2003 deserves a "second opinion", not from a Physician but from a patient.
Not all doctors, in my opinion, can be so callously classified as non-compassionate; as members of a profession who need to commit fewer medical errors.
For a judgment to be made that a tragic accident was the result of a Surgeonís misdiagnosis or incompetent use of a scalpel [Medical malpractice] it would be necessary to determine that a tragic outcome was not the result of an innocent/accidental error in a Breast Biopsy or Laboratory report.
Either way it is a tragedy for which the patient deserves to be properly cared for and monetarily compensated. Too often what is labeled Medical Malpractice is the result of human error that leads to improper care. Too often, the Doctor involved is labeled as an incompetent and malicious Physician, whose reputation will be severely damaged, with the intent of obtaining a larger settlement for the injured patient when records show that too often only 20% of the money awarded reaches the patient.
My family has lost loved ones that Medical Doctors and Science could not cure even though they did everything possible to keep them alive. Errors should be compensated but we need to avoid pointing fingers until all facts are known. There are good and bad in every profession but to label all Doctors as Mr. Baker has is unwarranted.
Editor, HCREI, Linda Tofanelli.