More than 130,000 people have died in the United States from the Covid-19 virus.  Certain models predict this number could reach 200,000 by the end of the year.  These are staggering figures by any measure. 

This pandemic is so serious, so medically concerning, it has essentially shut our country down for months. This pandemic is so serious, so medically concerning, Johns Hopkins has kept a running tally of Covid-19 infection rates and deaths around the world since the beginning.  This pandemic is so serious, so medically concerning, it has garnered the attention of every leading medical expert in the our country, and in fact the world.              

But this pandemic pales in comparison to a much larger, and longer lasting, pandemic which has plagued our country for years – Medical Malpractice.  A Johns Hopkins study estimates 250,000 to 400,000 people die every year from medical malpractice in our country (source).

A recent medical study estimates the medical malpractice pandemic is the third leading cause of death in the United States.  Marty Markary et al., “Medical errors – the third-leading cause of death in the US,” MHJ 2016; 353:i2139 (May 3, 2016)                                              

The medical malpractice pandemic is far more serious, statistically speaking, than Covid-19 but is virtually ignored by politicians and the news media.  While Covid-19 has dominated legislative efforts and news coverage for months, not a word has been spoken about the medical malpractice pandemic which annually kills at least twice as many Americans as Covid-19.  

Why?  Money.  The insurance industry and the medical community pour hundreds of millions of dollars every year into lobbying efforts to protect themselves rather than to promote patient safety and end this medical malpractice pandemic.  Every piece of legislation they promote seeks to limit patient recovery, immunize medical professionals from liability and effectively eliminate patient’s rights for medical errors.  In fact, the recent CARES Act, passed with the stated goal of assisting American citizens and business during this time of crisis, included an immunity clause for medical professionals.

This must change.  We must acknowledge the medical malpractice pandemic in this country and seek to protect patient safety.  This comes through greater accountability for medical errors, not more immunity and protections.      

The attorneys at McCarthy, Winkelman & Mester, L.L.P. can help if you were injured by medical negligence. Our lawyers can provide knowledgeable guidance about protecting your rights.  To set up a free consultation, call us today at 301-262-7422 or complete our contact form.

Written by Michael J. Winkelman