Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Do I tell them?

This morning, I was telling one of our veteran OR people about my cousin's death (at another hospital). He listened to me and, without missing a beat, said, "So they misdiagnosed her, and she exsanguinated." (I think that's how that's spelled.) Exsanguinated is a fancy word for "bled out."

As far as I know, my cousins now see their mother's death as an unavoidable event. They're not angry at anyone over it.

Financially, they're fine, so it's not like they lost their financial support. They're adults, well educated and employed, and there even should be a good size inheritance (I believe). So it's not like a lawsuit would be necessary to keep someone from being destitute.

The question then is simply what's the right thing to do in terms of justice for my late cousin and what's best for her sons.

This may occur to them anyhow, but I think they're better off not walking around with the burden of, "They killed my mom!"

My inclination is to say nothing. Or is it wrong to keep this to myself?


Andy said...

I am not really a fan of malpractice suits, becuase -- oh no, my inner Republican is coming out -- I do think they are abused. (I had two weeks of my life wasted sitting on a malpractice jury once which was absolutely a farce.) However, healthcare quality is a BIG issue. If someone died because a doctor or someone else on the medical staff dropped the ball, then this issue is larger than sensitivity to your relatives. My mother recently had a terrible experience following routine surgery because of complications that developed because she was not given the proper post-surgical counseling. Just things to think about.

Anonymous said...

I believe an investication should be called for to see if there was negligence. Mistakes do happen but if it was due someone's repeated carelessness, then something needs to be said. It won't bring your aunt back but it may save someone else.