Medical Privacy Is Meant to Protect Patients, Not Hospitals

Any parent who has ever had a child who was born with a severe and potentially deadly birth defect has faced an incredibly difficult situation that most people would have a hard time handling. The stress and the intense emotions involved with such a situation can be debilitating, and that’s only made worse by the fact that parents have to make very difficult decisions regarding the steps that should be taken to care for these struggling children. No one should have to go through this type of an ordeal, but when these scenarios do arise parents need to lean on experienced and compassionate medical professionals and facilities so that they can make the best choices possible. How can parents make those best choices when they suddenly find themselves at least in a way working against a medical facility that they may urgently need to help their children? Sadly, that appears to be what was happening in Kentucky recently. Parents of children who were born with serious heart defects were not given the answers they were searching for to the point where there are currently legal actions playing out that will determine if a hospital will have to release data that includes its mortality rate.

The entire situation is described here in an article that was published by CNN, and the Kentucky Children’s Hospital is the facility involved. It seems that the issue dates back to some point last year when four children suffered harm because of possible mistakes that were made during very delicate heart surgeries. Two of those children died and two others needed additional surgeries to help them survive and begin to heal.

The problem boils down to the fact that prospective patients, journalists and even the Kentucky Attorney General have all asked to review the data regarding patient mortality rate and the facility has steadfastly refused. This has led to the legal controversy that’s ongoing, and the facility is citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, as the reason that it will not disclose this data.

Those who have been looking for this data have argued that they are not looking to identify the people who were killed, but rather they are merely looking for numbers and statistics that will help them understand the risks of becoming patients there better. What this should tell anyone who sees this is that as difficult as a situation may be, those who need medical help should:

  • Not be afraid to ask direct questions
  • Not be afraid to ask why direct questions are not being answered
  • Not be afraid to seek second opinions
  • Not be afraid to seek help at other medical facilities if they feel uncomfortable

Caring for a very sick newborn is a terribly difficult undertaking. The last thing that anyone needs is to have to deal with a runaround from a medical facility. Those whose children have been harmed by substandard medical care should take steps to hold those facilities accountable. If this includes your child, contact the New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.