Why healthcare costs are so high – and will get much higher



Birthing nurse charged in deadly drug mix-up

A nurse in a hurry mistakenly gives the wrong drug and a patient dies. It’s a tragedy and it happens way too often. Certainly the person who made such a big mistake should be disciplined, perhaps have her license suspended or revoked. As much as I hate malpractice lawsuits in most cases, I’d even say there’s a basis for one here.

But criminal charges? When there was no intent to do harm? What in the world are the prosecutors thinking? The insane insistance on turning everything that’s not good into a criminal act — something I’ve written about on several occasions in several venues, including my October 24 WXPnews editorial titled Making it All Illegal (http://www.wxpnews.com/archives/wxpnews-250-20061024.htm) will be the downfall of this country yet.

If doctors, nurses and others in healthcare are subject to criminal charges whenever they make a mistake, (1) very few people will go into healthcare, and (2) if that policy is applied consistently, a large portion of those who do will end up in prison. Both factors will drive costs up and quality down even more.

Four year old children accused of sexual harrassment. Nurses who make mistakes facing criminal charges. The world is slowly going mad, and no one seems to notice. I guess that’s the nature of most insanity; unlike a sudden psychotic break out of the blue, it creeps up on you, and it’s easy to pretend everything is okay until it’s way too late to do anything about it.

deb@shinder.net   www.debshinder.com

About debshinder

Technology analyst and author, specializing in enterprise security. Author of or contributor to over 25 books, including "Scene of the Cybercrime." Fourteen-year Microsoft MVP, married to Microsoft FTE Tom Shinder, and proud mom of two wonderful grown-up human children and three amazing Japanese Chin pups. In my spare time, I love to travel - especially on cruise ships - and write about my grand adventures.
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