Remove Florida's "free kill law"
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The state of Florida has a Wrongful Death Act (Statutes 768.16-768.26) that protects doctors from being held responsible for their own negligence.
What this law states is that any person who dies from a medical malpractice, who is not married and does not have a child under the age of 25, the doctors and hospitals cannot be held responsible.
I am looking to change this law, my Father was only 53 years old, this hospital and their doctors did not do anything to help him, whatever was wrong with him they made it much worse. My father was at home when he started to not feel well. I was called by his mom to find out what she should do. I asked her to call 911 and have an ambulance come to get him since he was hard headed and would not go to the hospital on his own. I spoke to him before he left and he was perfectly fine. The ambulance came picked him up and took him to Leesburg Regional Medical Center at 430 pm on August 22, 2016. I called to the ER around 630 pm to let them know that my father was there, I was the main person of contact and that he had left his phone at home and would not be able to call me. The nurse took my name and number told me he was there and everything was fine she would relate the information. I did not hear anything back from anyone that night. The next morning at 5 am I was on my way to work when I called and asked how he was since I had not heard anything. The nurse said "Oh he has been transferred to ICU." I said "What, why? nobody has called and told me anything." She said she would transfer me up there. I spoke with a male nurse who told me my father had low oxygen levels and that everything was ok, he just needed to be sedated to be put onto a breathing machine. At this point in my mind everything was ok he just needed oxygen, the nurse spoke to me real calm and told me there was nothing I needed to worry about at this point. He was wrong!! Come to find out he was on 100% oxygen on complete life support. I was told they placed him in a medically induced coma because he was fighting the machine. They strapped him down to bed, forced a tube down his throat to intubate him and put him in a coma. Why did they not try an oxygen mask? Why did they have to strap him to the bed and put him in a coma?
Around 8 am a nurse called me saying they were trying to find another hospital that could accommodate my dad and have him transferred, possibly to Shands in Gainesville. She proceeded to tell me over the phone it doesn't look good his prognosis is poor and I should get all of my family to come up. After arriving, seeing I was clearly upset by seeing my father this way she then proceeded to tell me that its not as bad as it looks. She was very rude and short with me about anything that I would ask of her. She then had a nurse in the room that was fiddling with his IV lines and clearly did not know what he was doing. When asked how long he had been a nurse his reply was 4 weeks!!! 4 WEEKS and he was working in the ICU and did not know how to clear out the air from the IV lines.
Every day a different nurse was there and every day I was asked if I wanted my father to be revived if something were to happen. Of course, I said yes!! I was reminded that his quality of life may not be great and I should really think about that. I fought all the way til Friday to try and get him transferred to another facility that could care for him. I was constantly told things like he would not make transport, once the insurance company starts to pay one hospital and doctor they don't like to pay another. I called his insurance who reassured me I had the right to move him and they would pay whoever billed them. At this point I have not spoken to any Drs. regarding his condition what treatments they were giving him, what their plan was, or even what was wrong with him. I spoke to one on the phone for about 5 mins who said he agreed he needed to be transferred to a facility that could care for him. I argued with one other Dr. regarding the same thing. He told me I needed to call hospitals and find an accepting physician. Which is the case managers job NOT mine! Finally, I was told they had a hospital which would be Tampa General and they were waiting to hear back from the facility to see if they would accept my father. I left that visiting hour and had such high hopes of him being moved. The next morning I was told since he was on life support the machine he would go with was much smaller then the one he was on in the hospital. They had tried him on the smaller machine and he did not do well therefore, he could not be transported.
Later that afternoon, my fathers heart started jumping from a regular heart beat up to 160 and then flat lining. They were not sure why his heart was doing this. A cardiologist came up to speak with me and was asking if he had a heart condition that he should know about. I told him he did not and that he had just had a sonogram done on his heart about 4 months prior and they said everything was great. The Dr. pulled those records and came back saying there was nothing found in his test and that he had a good strong heart. So why was his heart acting up now? He said he may have to put a pace maker in but he was not stable enough to do so AND they did not have an operating room table big enough to hold his size. He said he will monitor him and see what happens in the next day or so. I was then told since he could not be transported they would re-evaluate his condition come Monday. Monday morning my fathers oxygen machine was lowered down to 70% oxygen which meant an improvement from the previous week. I was content and thought things were going to get better. That night when I went back for the last visiting hour session, his machine was back up to 100%.
Tuesday afternoon, August 30, 2016 my fathers heart stopped beating for the last time. They worked on him for about 20 minutes and called his time of death at 4:50 pm. I laid crossed my fathers chest for two hours asking god why he had to take my dad from me! It was the hardest day of my life. When it was time to leave, I had to sign paperwork and let them know who would be picking up his body. When I seen the time of death on the paper something struck a nerve that I checked my phone to see when they had called me. They called his time of death a few minutes after the phone call. I felt as though they didn't try to revive him and the nurses words to me were "Oh, honey they tried for a long time, they think they may have popped his lung with the tube." When she told me this I told her then I want an autopsy. She said well you will have to pay for that yourself the Dr. won't agree to that. I gave her the information of the place who would be picking up my father and was called for several hours after he passed saying who is coming to get him we need him off our floor he is still in the room. 5 hours after passing he was still laying in that hospital bed and had not been taken downstairs yet. I was determined to get that autopsy, the nurse supervisor supposedly called the medical examiner and asked for one and was denied as well. I was told I would have to pay $5,000 for one on my own.
To this day I do not know what caused my father to become so ill. I was told he had pneumonia but it was hard to tell because they could only do a chest x-ray as they did not have a machine wide enough for his broad shoulders. In his medical records everyday they charted "Probably Pneumonia". Then they told me he had ARDS, Acute Respiratory Distressed Syndrome. On his death certificate, they put cause of death being malignant arrhythmia, pneumonia, and staph infection. This Dr. would not even give me the closure of knowing what was really going on inside of him. They kept him in a coma the entire weeks stay with propofol. There were a few times they would stop the sedation and he would try to wake up, I even got him to open his eyes and look at me. As soon as he started to come to the nurse would put the sedation back on and out he would go. He would move his foot when I told him to therefore I thought he was going to be ok. In my heart I feel as though something didn't go right. I have reviewed his medical records and things do not add up AT ALL!! I found in the papers that he was tried on the smaller machine and did fine although the tanks ran out quickly they felt as though he could travel. It was later revised that he could not be transported. I also found an order to stop the Lovenox shots, which is a blood thinner to ensure he did not catch any blood clots while being immobile. The order was put in on 8/24/16 but yet, there is record of them giving a shot every day after this order. On 8/28/16 the Dr. stated it would be fine to continue the shots even though the order was clearly ignored before. His medical records are inconsistent to what I was told about many other things as well.
Both Drs. that were over his care have medical malpractice suits that have been filed against them, both which have resulted in death. One Dr. had a case as recent as 2013. When will this stop? How many more families have to live through these Drs. getting away with murder because of a clause that the Drs. and law makers have come together to make. It is not about money it never is, I want answer as to what happened to my father and why at 53 years old he is gone?
Please sign and share this on all social media networks. This law has to change and these Drs. have to be held accountable for their actions.
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