Ensuring proper medical care at all times requires a myriad of efforts from a variety of involved groups and individuals. Of course, the medical professionals themselves-and their administrative overseers-must do what they can to keep patients safe from preventable medical mistakes. On top of that, our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers work with families to hold those providers accountable when errors are made that cause harm. In addition, public regulatory bodies are crucial cogs in the machine that ensure the worst doctors are not allowed to practice and those who make harmful mistakes are punished so that they are incentivized to avoid such problems in the future.
Public regulators are particularly vital when it comes to saving future victims, because it is only those bodies that have the power to prevent the worst medical professionals from practicing in the future. They also have the power to suspend certain professionals while investigating to determine if more permanent sanctions are needed. In all cases, an active, aggressive oversight body that actively works to keep patients safe is a necessary safeguard.
Recently Health I-Team reported on sanctions in one state which highlight the role played by these regulatory groups. The story focused on sanctioned doled out to four physicians for misconduct. Two of the doctors involved were punished for mistakes made during surgery while a third was sanctioned for out-of-state sexual misconduct. All of the actions taken by the state’s Medical Examining Board were done upon the recommendation of the Department of Public Health which investigated and provided information on the events in question.
The first doctor was cited for a flawed spinal surgery. During the procedure to alleviate an impinged nerve, the negligent doctor removed the wrong part of the vertebra-known as the lamina. After realizing that he had removed the wrong lamina he operated on the correct one. In one of the other cases, a doctor was reprimanded for use of an improper use of a surgical procedure. The physician used a tacking device during a diaphragmatic hernia surgery, and the tack ultimately ended up lacerating the patient’s coronary artery
In a different action, another physician was reprimanded based on prior disciplinary action taken against him for his conduct in a different state. The doctor (an OB-GYN) was found to have engaged in a sexual relationship with a patient. The doctor lost his license indefinitely in the former state, and the new state picked up the charges and suspended the medical license. In a separate case, the Medical Board also revoked the license of a psychiatrist who was found to routinely prescribe excessive doses of opiates, tranquilizers, and other narcotics. His prescriptions to at least 10 drug addicted patients were found to pose a serious threat to their safety and well-being.
These and similar acts of misconduct occur with far too much frequency at medical facilities across the country. Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys know that an important part of the accountability scheme to prevent future medical errors lies in proper oversight being provided by regulatory bodies. In addition, victims and their families can take matters into their own hands and demand redress for their losses through use of the civil justice system.
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