Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hospital And Doctors Who Removed Non Cancerous Testicle Not Liable Due To Legal Immunity

Now here's some Texas justice for y'all. A Texas court recently ruled that a hospital is not liable for removing a patient's wrong testicle.
Here's what happened:

Safwat Kamel complained of an enlarged testicle in 2005, and Drs. Run Wang and Tiffany Sotelo performed surgery to remove the fluid around the testicle.
During surgery, Wang diagnosed the testicle as cancerous, given Kamel's history of colon cancer. Wang removed the testicle, and later tests proved it was not cancerous.

(Apparently they do not do pre-operative biopsies in Texas, which may have detected the lack of testicular cancer...so much for all the talk about doctors practicing "defensive medicine," like a biopsy, out of fear of endless lawsuits... just sayin...)

So, Mr. Kamel is absent one testicle and his lawsuit was dismissed despite the seemingly preventable malpractice here. Why? Legal immunity for state run hospitals in Texas. For those unfamiliar, legal immunity means that institutions like schools and cities are not liable for negligence. Like Texas, Ohio has loads of immunity for cities and schools (you can read all about it here), but has not adopted immunity for medical providers...yet. Last year, The Ohio Legislature considered a bill giving emergency room doctors immunity for negligence. The bill failed, but given yesterday's election, and the fact that one party now dominates both branches of the Legislature, the Governor's office, and The Ohio Supreme Court, one word comes to mind: lookout.

Expect an onslaught of physician and hospital immunity bills to be proposed in Ohio within the next few years. Lose your testicle or breast or other vital organ due to preventable negligence? Tough luck. Sorry for your loss. Get over it.

Apparently, now, everything's smaller in Texas. Including legal responsibility for medical malpractice.

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