Friday, July 21, 2006

Was it murder? Neglect? Or necessary for pain? Hurricane Patient Deaths Not an Easy Case

The Advocate reports (07/20/2006), legal scholars agree that proving a doctor and two nurses injected patients with the intent to kill them while stranded in a New Orleans hospital after Hurricane Katrina will be a huge challenge. One of the major questions will center on whether the injections were given with deliberate intent to kill or to ease pain. The problem is one of intent. Penny Brown Roberts, The Advocate Read Article: The Advocate

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nissan Altimas and Sentras Recalled

Bloomberg reports, over 200,000 sedans have been recalled for a faulty engine part that causes stalling. The 2006 Consumer Reports have ranked four Nissan models as the least dependable. A previous recall for 2006 models was due to complaints of excessive oil use and engine fires. Ripley Watson, Bloomberg 07/12/2006 Read Article: Bloomberg

Agreement Bars Surgeon from Practicing in U.S.

The Oregonian reports, Dr. Jayant Patel and the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners entered into an agreement that suspends Dr. Patel's license to practice in Oregon and bars him from obtaining a license in any other state in the U.S. until an investigation into alleged criminal charges, including patient deaths, in Australia is completed. The Oregon board says this effectively ends Dr. Patel's career because the case in Australia could take years to resolve. The Oregonian 07/14/2006 Read Article: The Oregonian

Who needs an autoclave. We have elevator fluid! Duke University Health System in Malpractice Limelight

Wow, Louis Pasteur just turened over in his garve. Forbes reports, A man is suing the Duke University Health system after his surgical instruments were washed in elevator fluid. Medical officials admitted to possibly exposing 3,800 surgery patients to the tainted instruments. They also claim the exposure was not harmful according to independent studies. The Associated Press, Forbes 07/14/2006 Read Article: Forbes

Money! Money! Money! Medications Unknowingly Altered

USA Today reports, pharmacies and healthcare companies are distributing compound/self-made drugs without informing doctors and patients. Chairman Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa claims maximizing profit may be their central motive. Who’s the main target? Medicare patients since the insurer pays brand-name costs and lacks compound drug-billing codes. Julie Appleby, USA Today 07/14/2006 Read Article: USA Today

USC Transplant Survival Rate Questioned

The LA Times says, the Los Angeles University Hospital reports a significant decline in liver transplant survival rates. USC falls below federal and state standards for government certification and funding. The California Dept. of Health Services will begin investigation in connection to the statistics. Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, LA Times 07/13/2006 Read Article: LA Times

Is the medical profession suborning perjury? Doctors Can Sue if Disciplined for Med Mal Expert Witness Testimony

Is the medical profession suborning perjury? Sounds like it to me! The Florida Medical Society and three Florida doctors are not immune from liability for their efforts to discipline a doctor who testified as a plaintiff's expert witness in a medical malpractice trial, according to a ruling by an appeals court in Tallahassee. Daily Business Review, 07/14/2006

Campaigns Foretell of Partisan Legislature

John Maginnis reports, the future Legislature "will have the deepest partisan divide between the two houses in modern state history." Maginnis associates the partisanship with early campaign efforts and term limits. In the House, Republicans could end up with a majority. In the Senate, Democrats could gain more power as 9 of 15 seats (60 percent) currently held by Republicans will be open. Eight of 24 seats held by Democrats (33 percent) will be open. La. Politics, John Maginnis, 07/14/2006

New Orleans Withdraws from Possible 2008 DNC Host Sites

Associated Press reports, New Orleans withdrew its bid as a host city for the 2008 Democratic National Convention because of the cost associated with the event. Still being considered are Denver, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and New York City. Cities in competition for the '08 Republican National Convention are Cleveland, New York City, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Associated Press, 07/14/2006

Developer Can't Find Insurance in New Orleans

The Advocate reports, a real estate developer wants to rebuild about 800 total housing units on the West Bank of New Orleans, but he can't get affordable insurance. Developer Howard Gyler is reported to have said, "People have said, 'Where's the private sector?' Here I am. Now get me insurance so I can go to work." A spokesperson for the property casualty insurance industry said insurance companies are pressured by too many risk factors ranging from high crime, theft of building supplies at construction sites, looting and vandalism, risk in reconstructing damaged buildings as opposed to new construction, and threat of future hurricanes. Chad Calder, Ted Griggs, The Advocate 07/14/2006 Read Article: The Advocate