It would seem like it would be common sense that a doctor should listen to their patients and their families. It would seem like something they wouldn't have to be told to do. Listening is one of the most valuable attributes that a doctor can possess.
There have been many instances that we have come across at our firm and through the articles that we see online about doctors not listening to their patients or their families. We have recently read an article from the Washington Post about such a case.
This case is so heartbreaking to read but happens more often than many would think. This story is set in Buffalo, New York where a man in his forties had a heart attack. The man's son called 9-1-1 immediately and the man was rushed to the hospital. Michael Cleveland was pronounced dead at the hospital by a young emergency room physician and the family was devastated. However, as his wife, Tammy, and his other family members looked at him to grieve they noticed something odd. They could still see signs of life!
According to Tammy, he tried to push the endotracheal tube snaked down his throat with his tongue, he continued to breathe, and his legs were moving around on the bed. Upon seeing this, Tammy and other family members pressed the physician to check on Michael to see that he was still breathing and following them with his eyes. The physician refused.
Two hours and forty minutes later the Niagara County coroner arrived at the hospital to take the body. But one look at Michael and he knew that the doctor had messed up. He went up to the doctor and nurses “working” on Michael and said “Dead people don't move.” It was too late for the doctors to do anything for Michael. Michael subsequently died.
The Cleveland family is now suing the young doctor for negligence because the doctor wouldn't listen to Tammy and the other family members.
Listen More Often
The stories that are the most heartbreaking are the ones that could have been prevented. Michael's death may have been prevented. We have seen cases where the death of a loved one could have been prevented if the doctor had just listened to the patient or their family.