Friday, August 26, 2005

Medical Error Bill - Patient Safety Canard

Medical Error Bill:
"Patient Safety" Canard

About the recently passed "Medical Error" bill:
The legislation encourages health professionals to confidentially report errors. Patient safety organizations would be established to analyze them, look for weaknesses in the system and recommend ways to reduce mistakes and save lives -- without setting off an avalanche of malpractice lawsuits.

If the above is true, we can only assume that health care professionals can turn in others for their negligence, under the cloak of secrecy, and the American public will be banned from legally knowing what errors, however negligent, their particular health care pro may have committed.
See Privilege section of Bill S.544 [] - - exmple: Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local law, and subject to subsection (c), patient safety work product shall be privileged and shall not be admitted as evidence in any Federal, State, or local governmental civil proceeding, criminal proceeding, administrative rulemaking proceeding, or administrative adjudicatory proceeding, including any such proceeding against a provider.
Legalizing the keeping of secrets about another's potential negligence, in the name of patient safety, runs against everything I have ever been taught about justice.

The reporting of an error by a hospital will not result in the hospital being granted immunity from a lawsuit, but the conduit for revealing negligence is protected from subpoena. A lawyer would not be able to discover whatever negligence a hospital or doctor admitted to. With this new law, this would have to be kept confidential.

Section 923 states that "the information resulting from such analyses shall be made available to the public and included in the annual quality reports prepared under section 913(b)(2)." Meaning, once a year the public will get a general reporting. The trade-off is a big one: our right to know about negligence our individual healthcare providers may have had. I am not comfortable with this.

Americans should question the grounds for this type of secretive and closely-held review of negligent mistakes which may be costing our loved ones their lives. I believe it is a move against freedom when you legally privatize a potentially disastrous truth and hide it away from the people of America for fear that they may learn they have perfectly legal grounds for a civil suit.

I regret to say I would have expected this from today's GOP and President Bush.

Lawsuits have been instrumental, in and of themselves, in improving public health and safety. Legal action as a last resort against physicians, pharmaceutical firms and other corporations have stopped the use of dangerous medical practices, drugs and devices, such as kidney-damaging statin drugs, off-label use of Neurotinin, the IUD, “FenPhen,” and thalidomide, just to name a few.

This medical error bill does not directly address malpractice law, but we know what the Republicans are trying to do by passing this bill. It's restricting our right to KNOW, thus limiting the legal suits we are capable of bringing successfully for lack of evidence.

This national mandatory error reporting database has only been created with a protection to hide the legal negligence of healthcare pros from the American individual who should always have the right to make his own judgement, along with his own attorney, on whether or not he wants to bring lawsuit.

I'm all for safety - but at what price to freedom and justice?

I'd wonder if the Democrats who agreed to this bill were thinking straight when they voted for it?

I'd love to have a freeedom-respecting lawyer-blogger take a look at this Bill and tell me what she/he thinks of it.

Plowing Thru the "They Win When We're Weak" BS

Plowing Through the
"They Win When We're Weak" BS

I had the following exchange with a fellow American on Blogcritics [President Bush, Call the Dogs Off Cindy Sheehan]:


I live near Ft. Hood and the soldiers were calling in with their opinions of - to use their words - 'Cindy Jehad'. They are really, really not pleased with her activities. One who had just returned from Iraq commented that right before he left terrorist sympathizers in Iraq were handing out leaflets with pictures of Cindy Sheehan to show their supporters that they're winning because we're weakening - with her as evidence. One of the repeated themes was that Cindy Sheehan, by her actions is going to be responsible for additional dead soldiers in Iraq. They really despise her.

Terrorist sympathizers in Iraq are not Americans. Those people you call "terrorist sypathizers" over in Iraq would be the last ones I'd assign any moral authority to. Dead last.

We don't need a permission slip from terrorists to ask questions which we free Americans think are appropriate and necessary to ask.

In the case of that one soldier you mentioned - I would tend to listen to him before I'd listen to you. As a matter of fact, knowing how you feel about this topic from your many posts, I would tend to want to hear this soldier speak myself, rather than hearing him through your filter.

When you say "the soldiers who called in.." - we do not know if they've been in Iraq. I would have liked to have heard them speak without your filter. Hearing something with one's own ears is the best way to place authority and make personal judgements.

Calling the woman "Cindy Jihad" is, in truth, disrespectful and just plain inaccurate. Cindy Sheehan and the Gold Star families are not promoting holy war or any other senseless kind of war. They fear that the one we're fighting is senseless and that our leadership has been deceitful.

What "terrorist sympathizers" want is not what concerned Americans want.

Cindy Sheehan, by her actions is going to be responsible for additional dead soldiers in Iraq
There's a political psywar going on in America. Propagandists would lead some to believe that citizens asking the toughest questions will lead to non-success.

In truth, the buck stops with the President of the United States. If the war wasn't an obvious non-success to begin with, no one would be asking the tough questions.

The responibility for anyone dying in Iraq today would lay squarely on the shoulders of the leaders who plan and direct it.

That's where the power is - the man with the greatest military power in the world has failed to rally a nation - and the world.

The man with the greatest power, by his position, takes on the trust of those who give him moral authority.

Bush has lost his moral authority because of his lack of leadership and character.

That one small mother's voice - the voice of Cindy Sheehan - didn't do that.

He did that on his own.

There are some rational debates and questions in this country about the way the Iraq war has been conducted that have absolutely nothing to do with people believing we should show weakness in the face of terrorism.

I've heard that bullcrap argument far too many times to swallow it.

We really do need to break these myths and fear-mongerings apart whenever we see them.

Nothing vs Everything

Nothing vs Everything

What did Saddam Hussein have to do with 9/11?


What does today's fight in Iraq have to do with Saddam Hussein?

Nothing. Saddam left the building (aka spider hole) long, long ago.

What does today's fight in Iraq have to do with the Bush administration's near-total imcompetence in managing the anarchy which they should have known would accompany the vacuum which Saddam Hussein's ouster would create? (After lying the nation into a war of their heavy-handed choosing)?


Jon Stewart was HOT Last Night

Jon Stewart was HOT Last Night

David R Mark [] credits the Daily Show's Jon Stewart with a brilliant episode (from August 25th).
BUSH MONTAGE: The war arrived on our shores on September the 11th, 2001 ... September the 11th ... September the 11th I made a commitment to the American people ... from September the 11th ... the lesson of September the 11th, 2001 ...

STEWART: You know, if I had a nickel for every time Bush has mentioned 9/11, I could raise enough reward money to go after Bin Laden!

On the same episode, Jon Stewart handed his guest Christopher Hitchens his stubborn, stuffy and equivocating defense of the Iraq war right back to him (fried crispy) on a silver platter. It was tasty. I savored every "bite".

Thanks to Wonkette for capturing some of it:
Stewart: The people who say we shouldn't fight in Iraq aren't saying it's our fault. . . That is the conflation that is the most disturbing. . .

Hitch: Don't you hear people saying. . .

Stewart: You hear people saying a lot of stupid [bleep]. . . But there are reasonable disagreements in this country about the way this war has been conducted, that has nothing to do with people believing we should cut and run from the terrorists, or we should show weakness in the face of terrorism, or that we believe that we have in some way brought this upon ourselves. . .

Hitch: [Sputter]

Stewart: They believe that this war is being conducted without transparency, without credibility, and without competence...

Hitch: I'm sorry, sunshine... I just watched you ridicule the president for saying he wouldn't give. . .

Stewart: No, you misunderstood why. . . . That's not why I ridiculed the president. He refuses to answer questions from adults as though we were adults and falls back upon platitudes and phrases and talking points that does a disservice to the goals that he himself shares with the very people needs to convince.

[Audience erupts in applause]

Hitch: You want me to believe you're really secretly on the side of the Bush administration. . .

Stewart: I secretly need to believe he's on my side. He's too important and powerful a man not to be.

Hitch: [Sputter, return to talking about his latest book.]

-from Wonkette-
At Think Progress, a commenter named "C" says:
" says a lot about how weak our media is when it takes a comedian to point out the obvious."
I think he's right. In addition, I think it says a lot for Jon Stewart, who is a confident and intelligent person with great debating skills and a dynamite built-in nonsense-detector. It also says a lot for the Comedy Network - obviously unintimidated by market forces because they understand that Mr. Stewart is their cash cow.

Crooks and Liars has the video of Stewart interviewing Hitchens.

Iraq: The Sticking Points

Iraq: The Sticking Points
The following are "sticking points" in Iraq's Constitution debate:
* ARTICLE 1: "The Republic of Iraq is an independent, sovereign nation, and the system of rule in it is a democratic, federal, representative (parliamentary) republic."
The Sunnis suspect that federalism is code for the Shias and Kurds slicing up Iraq's oil-fiels in the northern and southern regions and keeping them for themselves.

* ARTICLE 2: "Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation... No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam."
Divine (sharia) law will kill off a healthy future for the advancement of women's rights.

* ARTICLE 3: Iraq "is part of the Islamic world and its Arab people are part of the Arab nation".
What's the mumbo-jumbo about "Islamic world"? The Sunnis (among others) believe Iraq should be constitutionally considered, first and foremost, an "Arab nation" (secular).

* ARTICLE 4: "Arabic and Kurdish are the two official languages for Iraq. Iraqis are guaranteed the right to educate their children in their mother tongues, such as Turkomen or Assyrian."
The Kurds are worried about being dominated by the Arab majority. (They'll possibly secede before long anyhow, agreement or no agreement - it's in the wind - no secret).

* ARTICLE 16: "Equal opportunity is a right guaranteed to all Iraqis, and the state shall take the the necessary steps to achieve this."
Equality for all Iraqis? That's far too lofty for those who want divine Islamic law to trump civil law. We have come this far to prop up a new theocracy.

* ARTICLE 20: "Citizens, male and female, have the right to participate in public matters and enjoy political rights, including the right to run as candidates."
Women's rights seem to be unpopular with most power-hungry Iraqi men.
Evil code word: "female"

* ARTICLE 151: "A proportion of no less than 25 per cent of seats in the council of representatives is specified for participation of women."
Affirmative action seems to be unpopular with power-hungry Iraqi men.
Evil code word: "women"

Source: Independent Online