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We need to hold the healthcare industry accountable

June 17, 2009
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I found this story on Yahoo news, a description of a misdiagnosis of depression that led to a death:

Ada White talks about her great niece Ta’shon Rain Little Light, seen in the photo, during an interview with the Associated Press in Crow Agency, Mont., Oct. 16, 2008. Ta’shon died of cancer in a matter of months subsequent to a misdiagnosis of depression by the local Indian Health Service.

and I once again want to strenuously push for accountability in the healthcare industry.  In no other industry can a professional do such incredible damage to another person and just walk away, because somehow that serves the greater public good.

Engineers can’t waive their responsiblity for the structure of a building or a bridge (take a look at Boston’s Big Dig settlement for deaths caused by bridge collapse), and builders can’t waive their responsibilities when they build a home.  Even automakers can’t waive responsibility for their products when people make mistakes in the design that cost others their lives, so why do doctors practice above the laws that govern all the rest of our society?

Tobacco companies have been held accountable for creating products that harm others, as have the pharmaceutical industries, so why not doctors?

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