We have all heard horror stories of doctors removing healthy organs or amputating the wrong leg. Recently we have seen on television where a doctor left a twelve inch long surgical instrument in a person’s abdomen. These are obvious malpractice cases that clog our courts while the victims wait years for compensation. Lawyers argue the validity of questions rather than the merits of a case. The victim is often left with a choice of years of litigation or settling for nominal compensation just to pay the bills. When my husband was diagnosed with a “MISDIAGNOSED RUPTURED APPENDIX” the lawyers said there was NOT ENOUGH MONEY to take the case UNLESS MY HUSBAND DIED. We finally found an attorney but after taking our money he decided his could no longer “afford” to represent us due to the volume of interrogatories presented by the opposing attorneys. We were told if we proceeded with the case and lost we could loose our house. And that if we hired one expert they (the opposing side) would hire five. I am willing to risk everything to prevent other people from being harmed by what I believe is an incompetent doctor. I don’t want other people to go through what we have gone through. I have written Popa’s Law. A common sense protection for victims of Obvious Medical Malpractice. I have included not removing the appendix when performing abdominal surgery because “they rupture so often” and this is one preventative step that any good doctor would take. I am asking you to support Popa’s Law.
To promote quality healthcare and to sanction doctors who’s errors are obvious and fail to meet a minimum degree of common sense medical standards. To prevent multiple surgeries when multiple issues can be addressed at the same time. To establish a compensation standard for qualifying Medical Malpractice Incidents. Force doctors to take responsibility for actions which harm patients. This act is intended to be punitive in nature, to prevent obvious mistakes from clogging our court system and/or denying compensation to victims who’s financial means do not allow for legal representation. It is the hope that no compensation will ever need to be paid out under this act by setting standards that doctor’s must adhere to.
Qualifying Medical Malpractice Incidents Defined:
Additional major medical malpractice issues may be added but it is the intent that these issues are so severe as to require that once added, no incident shall be removed.
Common Sense dictates that certain procedures are performed during surgery. Failure to maintain minimum standards result in failure of the healthcare system. Hospitals must be required to hire the most qualified surgeons to staff the emergency ward. Comparative shopping is not available to the patient in the emergency room and Hospitals must be held accountable when the doctors they contract fail to meet these standards. Failure to do so should mandate compensation to the victim/patient at the maximum allowable by law.
Doctors are to be required to remove, if it exists, the appendix of any patient receiving abdominal intrusion for surgical procedure unless to do so would endanger the patient’s life. Doctors would be required to examine the abdominal cavity, liver, spleen, gallbladder, heart and lungs etc. for any obvious defect, injury or disease and if possible correct any condition that would later require surgery, within the skill level of the surgeon unless to do so would endanger the patients life. If additional surgery would endanger the patient or if the skill of the surgeon prevents intervention, then the surgeon would be required to thoroughly document the condition that prevented his intervention. The Insurance Carrier shall be required to compensate the surgeon at one hundred (100%) percent of the normal negotiated fees for the most expensive surgery and at ninety (90%) percent of the normal negotiated fees for the least expensive surgery. The Insurance Carrier would further be required to classify multiple surgeries performed at one time as a single claim/incident and not be allowed to penalize doctors by classifying them as multiple surgeries.
Failure to meet these standards shall result in compensation to the victim/patient within ninety (90) days at the rate of the maximum Medical Malpractice set forth by law. It is further stated this is to be considered Malpractice, this compensation structure is meant to be punitive and shall not to be a sliding scale. Failure to compensate the victim/patient within ninety (90) days shall result in sanctions in the amount of ten (10%) percent per annum. It is stated that all life is valuable and economic issues, age or earning potential shall not be considered. This act extends to a fetus only when the fetus is a viable life and would have been able to sustain life without the doctor’s intervention or injury sustained as a direct result of the doctor’s intervention. Separate claims for both mother and fetus may be filed. This act does not extend to spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) unless said abortion was a direct result of the doctor’s intervention. Settlement of one portion of the claim does not eliminate or reduce liability in another part of the claim when multiple victims or multiple doctors and hospitals are involved. Flagrant disregard for immediate compensation shall reduce or eliminate the Insurance Carriers ability to do business in the State of California. Each incident shall when multiple incidents are identified, be considered separate incidents and are compensable as such.
Doctors who fail to comply with the content and context of this law and who violate any of it’s provision shall upon the first incident have their license to practice medicine suspended for six months, one year for a subsequent incident and a third incident shall result in immediate revocation of their license. Doctors who have had their license revoked can apply for reinstatement after completing one year of additional education with a minimum 3.5 grade point average, and pass their license exams with a minimum grade exceeding the eighty-fifth percentile.
Where long term healthcare is required, this act does not limit or prevent additional compensation for actual healthcare, hospitalization, caregiver or guardian expenses. This act does not eliminate any compensation for pain and suffering but is intended to provide immediate compensation to victims of medical abuse without the need for legal intervention.