I’m not perfect; there was this time when I thought I was wrong, but it turned out that I was mistaken. To admit defeat and then to grasp it within the eyesight of victory is to admit to yourself that you are not wrong, you are merely mistaken. Yes, it takes a big man to admit defeat and a bigger man to accept victory, yet we keep going to the polls and voting. Why? Sometimes, having the best of the worst is better than having the worst of the best. But does this hold true for doctors too?
Quagmire is a character on the satirical, comedic adult-themed animation “Family Guy”. He is the most crass, vile and sexist character on a TV show, shown on Sunday evenings, no less, that has such scenes as the town’s most Christian person end up in love with Satan. That’s not to say that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ‘s relationship with Satan is in peril, because He can have as many concubines as he wants. However, Peter, the show’s main star, is dumber than Al Bundy (“Married… with Children”) and yet has the same things; a nice, big house, a car and the financial wherewithal to travel, stay at expensive resorts and buy all the new gadgets. And the extroverted pervert, Quagmire, is a pilot for an international airliner and can barely get by. Perer works at a toy factory on the assembly line, and Al Bundy was a women’s shoe salesman. Makes me wonder just how much money these low-payng jobs pay.
I actually knew a guy, a friend of my mother’s son, who worked as a shoe salesman at a women’s shoe store. He made very little money, but he was able to draw a disability pension after just 6 months on the job, due to stress. Now, just how stressful of a job is selling women’s shoes? And just how idiotic is the bureaucracy that allows this? There was a woman in Ottawa who successfully sued a major shopping mall because she walked into a wall that wasn’t properly marked. In Toronto, a family successfully sued the school board because their kid’s school didn’t have a decent hockey program for their son, who, under proper guidance, could have been an NHL hockey star. He was playing in the house league, bottom of the barrel for talented hockey players at the time.
I was misdiagnosed 3 times; a major back surgery resulted from a failed diagnosis of herniated discs (before MRIs became prevalent) in my lower back, a big “pimple” on my face (left cheek) that I was told to wash frequently and to stop picking at turned out to be a tumor, squeamish cell carcinoma (cancer of the connective tissue), which, while left to grow for 2 and 1/2 years, ate into my jaw, orbital bone and gums, saw the loss of my left nasal cavity and resulted in a 5 hour operation to clean up the zit and then 37 doses of radiation. I went into the hospital once complaining that my appendix was going, and was told by the female attending resident that if I wanted to have someone “do these kinds of things to my anus” that I should investigate my sexuality. I was in the OR 2 hours later, my appendix blowing up while I was waiting for my father to pick me up.
Now, you would think that any one of the misdiagnosis that I went through would have resulted in a lawsuit. You’d be very wrong if you thought that. In Canada, it takes about a 1/2 of a million dollars to successfully sue a doctor in court – they never settle out of court unless liability is flagrantly obvious and resulted in death or paralysis – and without that death or paralysis you won’t win more than 1/3rd of a million bucks. You win but you lose money in doing so. I was taken to a very good lawyer by my father on each occasion, only to be told that I would probably win the suit, but we would not win enough compensation to even cover the costs associated with suing a doctor in Canada, starting with the fees that specialists charge for court cases. If I were living in the USA when these “mistakes” happened I would be a multimillionaire right now.
The Moral of the Story?
Yes, dear reader, sometimes there really is a moral to my stories. If you are to become sick or disabled due to a doctors malpractice, make sure that you live in the USA when you happen to be misdiagnosed. Sometimes there really is a need for a good lawyer and to live in an overly litigious country. But we should still drop about 95% of the lawyers into the deepest abyss of the oceans. Considering that about 5-8 percent of the inmates in prison really were innocent, the lawyers who represented these unlucky souls need to be held accountable, and successfully sued, along with the State and Federal governments.
Lawyers suing lawyers – now that’s a courtroom drama that I would watch on TV. I would just hate to be the one paying the legal bills for the court case. In an overly litigious country, people sue and get sued over the tiniest problems, which in most other countries wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.
It’s time that the civil litigation legislation is overhauled, so that the little guys have a chance at suing the big insurance companies.