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More of the White Wall of Silence

By Dr. Lars Aanning

IF YOU DIE IN A HOSPITAL FROM A MEDICAL/SURGICAL COMPLICATION IN MY STATE:

• Your Death Certificate will always state that your death was from “Natural Causes” – and never state the sentinel adverse event that led to your death

• Your hospital chart will never mention the word “complication” or describe or implicate the mistake, error, or accident that led to your death from, for example, sepsis

• The surgeon/physician will recite loads of “I’m sorry!” expressions, but will never tell your family he/she was responsible for your death, or explain exactly why you died

• The hospital will never voluntarily report the complication that caused your death to Medicare or other quality improvement organizations (QIOs) – even if the hospital participates

From my experience reading medical charts…have yet to encounter an exception, and welcome any examples…

Other articles by Dr. Aanning can be found at this link.

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