When a loved has passed away unexpectedly and possibly because of the actions of another, it can feel like your entire world has been placed off its axis. The first thing to do is to go through the grieving process; but at some point, particularly if the death was needless and caused by the negligent actions of someone else, you will need to decide whether to hold that individual or group of people accountable.
Throughout the country, numerous states have passed medical malpractice reform laws. Others have similar measures on the ballot in elections this year. The basis of the reform is often that medical malpractice lawsuits drive up medical costs in the form of unnecessary procedures performed as "defensive" tactics due to medical professionals' fear of being sued. But recent data indicates that limiting the recovery of those who are injured, or even die, as a result of medical malpractice has little, if any, effect on the costs of health care.
A good way to illustrate the concept of irony is when you become the victim of your own success. In Texas and most everywhere else in the United States, an illustration of how this can happen may be found in the increasing average age of our population. Put another way, modern advances in nutrition and health care mean that the average lifespan for an American can result in the realistic prospect that he or she lives well into their 80s.
A big rig recently drove across the median of Interstate 35, into a head-on collision with the driver's side of the bus before it kept going across the highway lanes all the way to the other side of the road. There were no apparent signs that the driver, a Texas resident, hit the semi's brakes to try to avoid the truck accident.
Every time we enter a hospital or visit our family doctor, we hope that we will be looked after in the most professional manner. We all hope to receive the best care that our doctor or nurse can provide. But on occasion, even though the medical professionals charged with our care are held to high standards by their own licensing bodies as well as the law, doctors, nurses and hospitals can fail to live up to those standards. When that happens, patients can become at risk of being seriously injured.