Tremendous advances have been made in organ transplant surgeries, although the list of Philadelphia patients waiting for donors still far outstrips the organs available. Rather than waiting months or years for a compatible cadaver organ to become accessible, some patients pursue transplants from living donors.
Children and elderly people can unfortunately be easy targets for neglect. Aged, young or ill individuals often can't or won't complain about the care they receive. When they do, the very fact that they are children, old or sick threatens credibility. A caregiver's wrongdoing is not as easy to detect when a patient is three years old or suffering from dementia, compared to an adult patient with full mental capacity.
Multi-million dollar liability settlements may seem excessive to some Philadelphia residents. Many states have legalized caps for non-economic damages in medical malpractices lawsuits. There are no limits on compensatory damages in Pennsylvania medical negligence lawsuits, although some restrictions are enforced for punitive damages paid by physicians.
Most people in Philadelphia wouldn't hesitate to return a damaged or outdated product to a store for a refund or replacement. Consumers can also take an active role in the way doctors, hospitals and other health care providers treat them. Medicare patients have the additional support of advocacy groups known as Quality Improvement Organizations.
Hand washing isn't just good Pennsylvania manners. Our hands are constantly feeling our way through the world - touching a steering wheel, an elevator button, products in a store or money. Our hands grasp objects handled thousands or millions of times by other people.
Who can be denied medical care? The question does not apply to affordability. The matter pertains to the availability of health care for restricted members of the population - prisoners who live under government control.
Spouses often have a hard time admitting when they've made a mistake, so can you realistically believe that people will own up to errors in the workplace? Many mistake makers don't leap to claim responsibility for mistakes. Instead, they weigh consequences against truth telling.
U.S. taxpayers paid almost $92 million last year to resolve medical liability claims against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The largest claim of $17.5 million was paid to a Pennsylvania veteran who suffered a "totally" disabling stroke after a 2007 VA dental visit.
Stories about careless medical care are disturbing because they shake the foundation of the traditional relationship between patients and doctors. Philadelphia patients may take for granted that highly-trained physicians always will provide quality care. Health care professionals are not infallible, but they are accountable for serious injuries and patient deaths due to negligence.
Kidneys are the hardest organ to acquire for transplant operations. The national list of donors in the first half of last year contained about 6,900 names. During the same period, the number of patients waiting for kidneys through the United Network for Organ Sharing was over 115,000.