Monday, April 6, 2020

A man’s sister died 12 years ago.  The sister, age 38, died in a Brookfield, Wisconsin nursing home on December 26, 2003.

The sister died three months after she stopped breathing while undergoing breast implant surgery at a Florida doctor's office. Records established the sister received excessive amounts of anesthetic propofol during surgery. The surgeon has since lost his medical license.

The man has advocated legislation to make medicine safer.  His idea is to put cameras in operating rooms but is running up against obstacles. 

One politician interested in the concept was state Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee).  In spring 2015, Sinicki introduced a measure to require medical facilities where surgeries take place to inform patients the choice of having the procedures videotaped. The bill did not garner many co-sponsors. Groups on record lobbying against the proposal are the Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Hospital Association, and Columbia St. Mary's Inc. The Wisconsin Hospital Association told the press the proposal was "ill-conceived legislation that could harm that relationship between patient and provider."

The legislation is called the Committee on Health, and was drafted around January 2015 after the man and Sinicki communicated for about eight months.  People predict the measure will unlikely go anywhere in the Republican-led Legislature.  There are logistical issues such as how many cameras should be used and what kinds of microphones.  

Representative Sinicki named the bill after the man's deceased sister.  The death was covered in People Magazine and ABC's "20/20."  The man tried to unsuccessfully have the Waukesha County medical examiner change his daughter's cause of death from accident to homicide. In 2013, the man created a Facebook page, the "National Organization for Medical Malpractice Victims," to bring attention to medical malpractice.

The man stated having a camera and microphones in the operating room would let people detect if something wrong happened during an operation.  A video served as truth and transparency. The video gives licensing boards, disciplinary boards, and review boards a tool for higher standards.

Sinicki's legislation is one of two medical malpractice reform bills.  Another bill is being introduced by Sen. Nikiya Harris Dodd.  Dodd’s bill would allow parents of children up to age 27 who die as a result of medical error to sue for loss of companionship.

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