Hospital Throws Away Man’s Leg
Having your leg amputated from the knee down is a traumatic experience for anyone. However, having the limb then thrown into the regular trash, complete with tags on it so everyone knows whom the leg belonged to, is even worse. It sounds like something that should not be able to happen. After all, you would imagine that the hospital would have protocols in place that would prevent these types of things from occurring. However, it actually did happen to a man when a hospital in South Florida tossed his leg into the garbage. Naturally, he is suing the hospital.
Why Is He Suing?
The main reason that he is suing is due to emotional stress caused by the hospital. Waste management workers discovered his leg and they promptly contacted the police. Since the leg had his name and information attached to it, the police got in touch with the man’s family to ask if he was okay or if he was missing. At the time, they weren’t certain the leg was amputated by the hospital or if the man was the victim of a crime. Naturally, he was shocked to hear what happened to the leg. Most of the time, the hospitals will incinerate the leg on the premises.
He’s suing the hospital for emotional distress, but there is the possibility that he could also sue because they technically released some of his health information. Because of what happened in this case, his amputation was made public knowledge, which means that his right to privacy under the Health insurance Portability and Accountability Act was violated. The only way that they can release this information is if the patient signs a release form, and it is unlikely that he did that.
The action shows that the hospital was careless in the disposal of the leg and the protection of his private information. It’s an embarrassment to the hospital, and the most likely outcome will be the hospital trying to settle out of court as quietly as possible. It does make you wonder just what other types of mistakes the hospital could be making if they are having trouble taking care of large body parts, such as a leg, that has been amputated.
Hospital Mistakes … Not So Rare
When you go into the hospital, you have a reasonable assumption that you will receive good care and that you (and your information) will be safe. Recent research shows that hospital errors are a leading cause of death. In the US alone, they are the third leading cause of death.
People have come out of surgery with instruments and sponges left inside of them. Others have received care and medication that was meant for another patient, often to disastrous results. These are just a couple of examples of issues with hospitals that are costing patients their health and their lives. With lawsuits, it helps to keep the hospitals in check, and it should help to improve the protocols for patient care.
Wacky Wednesdays are brought to you by Kahane Law Office in Calgary Alberta. Kahane Law Office is an award winning full service law firm.