Dr. Lars Aanning has been uneasy about a decision he made twenty years
ago. The surgeon was called to testify on behalf of a colleague in a medical
malpractice suit. A patient who was left with a permanent lifelong disability
believed Dr. Aanning’s colleague was to blame. Dr. Aanning himself
had questioned the skill and practice of that same colleague many times,
but when asked about any instances of substandard care, he did what many
doctors in his situation do. He lied.
In his retirement, Dr. Aanning has become an outspoken patient advocate.
He helps medical malpractice lawyers, including the one who represented
the patient in the case in which he lied. Unfortunately, he knows all
too well that patients are at a significant disadvantage in such situations.
Is There a Culture of Dishonesty Amongst Doctors?
Now that he has told his story, Dr. Aanning feel it necessary to seek his
medical care out of town. No longer can he see doctors in his local clinic.
This is a result of a deeply entrenched culture that pits doctors against
patients and medical malpractice attorneys…a culture where Dr.
Aanning is no longer welcome.
Though doctors are charged with the care of their patients and the role
of patient advocacy, it is clear they will close ranks to protect a colleague
against charges of medical malpractice. Obviously, this happens even in
cases when those colleagues have knowledge of declining skills, potential
wrongdoing, or negligence. Surgeons, of course, are one of the medical
specialties hit hardest by medical malpractice, so we should perhaps not
be surprised to find them doing whatever it takes to support a colleague
through a malpractice suit. After all, they could be the next one accused
of malpractice, and what then?
ProPublica has been relentlessly seeking and reporting on problems in the
practice of medicine in the United States. They have noted research showing
that Dr. Aanning is not alone in his fear of repercussions. Doctors and
nurses across the country fear the retaliation of a colleague,
causing them to stay quiet even when they feel something may be terribly wrong.
A Reputable Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Dr. Aanning believes the courtroom is a poor place for the resolution of
cases related to patient harm simply because it often relies on the “expert”
testimony of other doctors. The closed-ranks culture within the medical
community makes it very difficult for those who have been injured or who
have lost loved ones due to medical negligence. This is why anyone who
suspects the negligence of a doctor, surgeon, clinic, hospital, or other
medical establishment in an injury or death should consult an attorney
right away. The experienced
medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese can play a major role in balancing out the immense power
physicians hold in their hands in such cases. We know the questions to
ask, and we will fight on your behalf. If you or someone you know has
been injured or died while under medical care, call us today for a risk-free,
no-cost consultation: (888) 204-8440.