America’s medical malpractice system may have its flaws, but it serves an extremely important purpose, especially in the case of wrongful death cases. Unfortunately, in some countries, there are laws that not only can prevent families from recovering financially after their loved one’s death, but that can actually force the family to pay the costs of the doctor who caused the death.
Doctor Responsible for Father’s Death Sues Son
The Telegraph reports that Rory Gray, a man whose father was killed by doctor, has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds in court costs in Germany. The doctor, Daniel Ubani, is from Germany. Dr. Ubani traveled the the U.K. and treated Gray’s father, ultimately giving him a massive (and lethal) drug overdose. He injected Mr. Gray’s father with a dose ten times greater than a safe amount of diamorphine. The overdose was due at least in part to a language barrier due to the doctor’s not speaking English well.
Confrontation at Medical Conference
After the death, Mr. Gray and his brother confronted the doctor at a medical conference. During the confrontation, Gray called the doctor “a charlatan,” “a killer” and “an animal.” It’s easy to understand why Mr.. Gray would feel this way and his need to express his feelings to the doctor. There was no physical confrontation-the words were the extent of the confrontation. However, despite the reasonableness of Mr. Gray’s conduct, the doctor then sued Mr. Gray in a German court over the incident.
Court Orders Son to Pay Doctor who Killed his Father
According to the BBC, a German court has proposed that Mr. Gray pay 75% of the legal costs in the lawsuit. The court also proposed that the grieving son should write to the doctor who killed his father and promise never to call him an animal again. He has also been told that if he repeats the insult, he will be fined $200,000 euros, which nearly $250,000 American. The doctor also had the audacity to force Mr. Gray to pay for the speaking fees he allegedly lost at the conference, but the court refused to go that far. The court also refused to bar Mr.. Gray from calling the doctor a “charlatan” or a “killer” in the future.
The German court ordered the payment of fees despite German officials have acknowledged that Dr. Ubani is to blame for the death. German medical authorities fined the doctor 7,000 euros over the death, however, they allowed him to continue practicing in Germany.
Mr. Gray’s Response to the Court Order
When asked about the Court’s order, Mr. Gray said, “It just makes me feel physically sick…It’s utterly grotesque-how am I meant to enter into correspondence with the killer of my family and pay him money.” Gray will be discussing the case with his legal counsel further before determining his next steps.
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