In today’s world, sometimes it’s surprising how risky life can still be. Despite the advancements in technology to make all manner of activities safer, people can still injure themselves in a disturbing number of ways. On top of that, even though there have been numerous advancements in medicine and medical technology, there is still accounting for human error in complex medical procedures.

We all know the expression of certain things costing “an arm and a leg” to represent just how extravagantly expensive they can be. The unfortunate reality is that some medical procedures can inadvertently end up costing just that and more. According to an article published in the Washington Post last year, medical errors were the third-leading cause of death in the United States. An estimate according to research conducted by faculty members of Johns Hopkins University posits over 250,000 deaths by medical errors per year – more than 700 per day.

While this number is certainly alarming for an industry whose purpose is intended to do the exact opposite and save lives, one should also take into consideration how many people undergo medical procedures across a full spectrum per day. This is not to belittle the deaths that have occurred as a result of medical errors, from incorrect medication being administered to errors in surgical procedures all the way up to simply incompetent or just bad doctors. The last thing we hope to encourage is scaring you out of trusting modern medicine. But there is always a need to account for human error in everything.

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. Nearly every facet of of human services can be rated openly by the general public. It would do well to do your research, as you would with other endeavors like buying a car. You wouldn’t just walk up on a lot and pick the first thing on four wheels that you saw, would you? Why choose your doctors in a fashion similar to that? Even if a malpractice suit could win you plenty to hold you and yours over for a good portion of your natural lives (a 2015 Washington state report confirms an average of nearly $2 million of indemnity per claimant of cases that proved malpractice), consider the long term. Chances are such a payout would mean heavy physical and emotional damages suffered that even all of that money would be hard-pressed to remedy. It’s simply easier to look into finding good medical staff, even if it winds up costing you a little extra up front.

If the government has their way, payouts from medical malpractice lawsuits would have a much lower ceiling in the near future. Legislation is already in the works in Iowa for putting a cap on rewards due to medical malpractice that could potentially limit those who have suffered as a result of malpractice to $250,000. And of course, many of you may be saying that you don’t live in Iowa, that you don’t need to worry about such legislation. And maybe right now, that does happen to be the case. But, are you really willing to stake your health and potentially your life on it?

It pays to be smart about your health. Maybe a few extra bucks here and there to ensure you do some solid research and find medical staff that are truly looking out for you. But, it’s certainly better than paying the literal arm and leg, isn’t it?

Sources

https://www.insurance.wa.gov/about-oic/reports/commissioner-reports/documents/attorney-stat-report-2015.pdf

http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/senate-passes-medical-malpractice-bill/article_0ca35f97-6b28-51d9-91c4-533c05bfd3fc.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/03/researchers-medical-errors-now-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-united-states/?utm_term=.8f3529d3f54d