Recently in Illinois, an infant was rushed to an emergency room by his parents for incessant crying and vomiting that prevented him from nursing. The emergency room physician diagnosed the infant with a gastrointestinal colic and sent the family home with instructions on how to cope with the colic. The next day, the infant suffered a painful death, due to a rare heart defect that the doctor could have discovered by ordering a standard chest x-ray. When the infant's parents hired Chicago medical malpractice lawyers and sued both the hospital and the emergency room physician, a jury found both defendants liable for $2, 250, 000.
Multi-million dollar medical malpractice verdicts beg the question of how juries arrive at such numbers. What is the just measure of punishment for a doctor's error that can adequately compensate the loss of grieving parents? Obviously no amount of money could ever compensate parents or make them whole after the loss of a child. Even if you may not such a number could be reached, is it really fair to make doctors liable?
In every profession or line of work, people, even licensed professionals, make mistakes. Unfortunately for medical professionals, every day mistakes can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits involving unfathomable tragedies such as brain damage, birth injuries, quadriplegia, amputations, and death.
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