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Surgeon with 11 malpractice payouts keeps working unabated

A heartbreaking story about a surgery gone wrong — and the failures of doctors, though one in particular takes the cake, to monitor the patient — exemplifies one of the issues in the medical field today. We start the story with a simple procedure: an appendectomy, which is a procedure to remove a person’s appendix.

Back in 2009, a woman was diagnosed for appendicitis and need an appendectomy. Her husband, a doctor, and their children would only see her for two days after the surgery before she passed away due to complications from the surgery.

The husband looked over the medical records related to his wife’s surgery and her post-surgery care. As it turned out, her blood pressure was dangerously low in the days that followed the surgery. She eventually died due to blood loss, and yet no tests, screenings or further procedures were ordered by doctors and medical professionals.

The husband sued the surgeon responsible for the procedure, and despite the surgeon denying his wrongdoing, he settled for the maximum amount his insurance covered, which is $250,000.

But here’s the disturbing part about all of this: the surgeon has paid 11 medical malpractice payouts since 2000, which ties him for the most such payouts in the state of Florida during that time. And yet the state’s Board of Medicine has never restricted the surgeon’s license. He has been free to operate (literally and figuratively) with essentially no punishment despite what appears to be one of the worst medical histories in Florida.

Medicinal boards and other committees and groups that oversee medical industries and individual medical professionals need to do more to show people that their medical mistakes are unacceptable.

Source: CBS News, “Despite multiple malpractice payouts, doctors often keep practicing,” Ben Eisler and Mark Strassman, Sept. 12, 2014