Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A verdict is delivered

David Abel at the Boston Globe reports today on the results of a high profile malpractice case involving bariatric surgery. The jury returned a verdict in just three hours in favor of the defendants. I have previously addressed what it feels like for doctors going through these kind of cases. I don't know these two doctors, but it must be a tremendous relief to them to have this resolution.

(By the way, an odd moment in the lawsuit came in the first trial, when the two doctors being sued came to the aid of a juror who had collapsed in the courtroom. The judge declared a mistrial in that case, and the entire proceeding had to be repeated.)

The Harvard hospitals (BIDMC, MGH, Brigham and Women's, etc) jointly own a captive insurance company that covers us for malpractice cases like this. I have discussed the odd relationship among these hospitals and Harvard Medical School in a previous post. Notwithstanding our competition in the clinical arena, we jointly work very hard to learn about ways to improve patient care and safety through our experience in the risk management realm. That research, analysis, and training is an integral part of each institution's quality and safety program.


Anonymous said...

EB3 here.

The best part about the affiliation is the kick-ass stationary the doctors have. two seals. Harvard's and a first rate hospital.
Hatvard is huge sell for attracting top doctors, most have huuuge egos, here.

Anonymous said...

Bariatric surgery is risky, people know that going in. As a patient, I am wondering what happened beyond that accepted risk that made people sue...and which was then cancelled out by prestigious seals and the waving of the Harvard imprimatur.

Unknown said...

reply to anonymous at 10:00 am:

In regards to quote: "Hatvard is huge sell for attracting top doctors, most have huuuge egos, here."

We often find that huge egos can often be the top detractor's in pushing for quality changes. The "I'm the doctor, I know how to practice Medicine" reply.

I've never worked in a teaching facility, and I've never been to medical school. I do wonder though, if there is any teaching or education that teaches the doctor to work better with the hospital, making it a team effort.