Saturday, November 9, 2019
NEW AMSTERDAM Television Drama
For the first time I watched New Amsterdam and was shocked at the content.
The title of this episode ‘Good Soldiers” was not the part that I watched that made me a fast fan. It was the interwoven story line of a woman who had a “botched” surgery a number of years ago by a surgeon who was “protected” by his peers. The surgeon continued working moving from hospital to hospital leaving a trail of medical injuries. In this case, the woman has spent years in a wheelchair while the surgeon continued doing surgery often injuring other patients. When Dr. Max GoodwIn, the Medical Director played by Ryan Eggold found out about this surgical screw up that happened years earlier, he started asking questions and found that there were cover ups. Approaching the Dean of the medical school, Dr.
Goodwin learned that the dean knew how bad things were but continued the cover up with his peers to “protect their own”.
Dr. Goodwin suggested the patient may start a lawsuit and thought it would be a good opportunity to change policy to become transparent and be honest with the patients. Instead, a check was written to satisfy the woman.
There are many real-life aspects top this.
The cover ups: It must be hard for a new person in the medical field to expect to be a whistleblower early in their career. Who could they possibly trust to report what could -and maybe should be seen as a crime? Injure or kill someone and cover it up is giving people in healthcare a license to kill. I have heard this is not uncommon. I too would have to wonder how do you go to someone with what may be half the facts and report something so horrible about someone who probably brings in millions of dollars a year to the hospital?
The check: Should the hospital have written a check and stopped this whole story from getting out? Should the woman have accepted a check to be quiet? In a lawsuit people often sign what we call “gag orders” discouraging the injured party to not speak of the incident or the amount of the settlement. When they sign, some people feel that they shouldn’t and are allowing the behavior to continue. This may be true but why shouldn’t a person who wants to move on take the money and do that? Some people want to fight it and will get less money. It is a personal preference. Unfortunately we rarely hear the whole story or all sides. Injury = money it’s not that simple.
So what happens when the woman takes the money and the doors get closed? Is there retraining for staff? Are all patients who used the doctor leaving a trail behind him of dead and injured called out on his/ her behavior? What does a patient or family do to be sure “This doesn’t happen again” like so many people say they want?
Why doesn’t the media cover every story so others can feel safe? When there is a train crash or a plane crash it makes the news, an investigation, every detail shared. When medical errors kill people or injure the unsuspecting……………………….