A different angle

June 27, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Hi Dr. Shawn,

From your description of this neurologist, I’d be surprised if you didn’t have to get in line to file suit against him. I have a different angle on this subject, but I should warn you that it could be considered a “paranoid” point of view. (and a much more difficult case to prove)

Six months out is still a short time in terms of neurological healing – this illness can be expensive in so many more ways than just medical. I hope you will be able to continue your work without having to choose between your livihood and your health. My heartfelt wishes for a fortuitous turn of events in your health and career.

I too have contemplated, in theory, the possibility of a law suite – with a “twist”. My experiences with my daughter has had me wondering about the inner workings of medical practice: I personally think it is a very difficult time to be a physician – having to answer to insurance cos, managed health care, government regulations, and pressure from pharmas, not to mention the actual needs of the patients! It has occured to me on many occassions that my daughter’s diagnosis/treatment was determined by the wishes of administration. I have actually seen fear in doctors when we have returned in need of ivig. I have witnessed (stood in the hallway & listened) while a physician heatedly argued w/ hospital admins for the need to treat my daughter – then apologetically refered us on to yet another doctor for “further analysis”. In the beginning, we have had to justify each and every instance of ivig by agreeing to another spinal tap (intimidation & coersion), despite a diagnosis and a sharp decline. I quickly became a tough mom to deal with – I’m certain they have a huge psyche file on me!

Nevertheless, I am loathe to sue a doctor without understanding the dynamics behind the decisions that are handed down. Sue a hopsital (corporation)? — in a minute if I thought I had good documentation that their motives were not in the best interest of patient’s health. I mistakenly assumed that hospitals had a collaborative network of specialists that worked together within the system to tackle the “tough” cases that walk into their doors. It seems I misunderstood – a hospital is more like a mall- a physical location where each individual can be granted permission to practice medicine independently of another. In this environment, I can see how errors happen (unnecessarily). It does not excuse it though. I have often wondered how much (implied) pressure is placed on physicians to not discover, or delay, the nature of illness when a rare or chronic condition would pose a high expenditure onto the hospital?

These were the thoughts that plagued my mind as I waited in emergency rooms for 10 and 12 hours. Looking back, I wonder whose file is bigger – mine or my daughter’s.

best wishes