Florida doctors and hospitals are free to kill a class of patients without malpractice exposure.
Yep! It's the honest truth. There is a large class of patients that die because of medical malpractice in Florida every year and their families cannot pursue a medical malpractice case. These patients have the following characteristics:
- They are 25 and older; and
- They are not married; or
- They have no children under 25.
Let me give a few examples of calls that I received recently.
A 26 year old person is traveling through Florida and has an epileptic seizure. The person is seen in a hospital's emergency room. The person is released from the hospital and allowed to drive. About an hour after the person is released from the hospital he/she has another seizure on the highway, crashes the car and dies. NO CASE because the person had no spouse and no children.
A 75 year old guy was in the hospital for a medical condition. He was a fall risk so he needed to be attended to when he was out of his room. An aide takes him to the x-ray department and leaves him alone. The patient falls, cracks his head open, has a stroke and dies. NO CASE because the patient was a widower and his youngest child was 37.
A 47 year old patient goes in for routine gall bladder surgery. During the procedure, a major blood vessel was cut and the patient bled out on the operating table. NO CASE because the person had a significant other of 27 years and a child that was 25 years old.
You say this is unfair – I agree! Why is this?
The reason Florida doctors and hospitals are allowed to kill this class of patient without any medical malpractice recourse is because of Florida's wrongful death act. The law says that certain survivors of a patient who dies because of medical malpractice are able to receive money, and the statutory survivors are (1) a surviving spouse; and (2) minor children. The law defines a minor child as a child under 25 years old.
Do you think this is unfair? If so, leave a comment – let's start a discussion.