Stop Florida's Free Kill Law

Stop Florida's Free Kill Law

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Debbie McGraw Sowden started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

The Florida Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes 768.16-768.26) otherwise known as "Florida's Free Kill Law". This law protects doctors from being responsible for their malpractice. 

Basically the law states, if you are not a spouse or a child under the age of 25, you can not file a medical malpractice claim of a loved one's death. 

This affects your parents, brother's, sister's, and children. Over half of the State of Florida is affected by this law. Almost every college student, elderly etc. Anyone unwed/childless(or with children over the age of 25) is affected. What level of care are Floridians receiving? The doctor's know they can sweep your loved ones death under the rug, without consequence. 

My Fathers case (in brief):

My dad went into the hospital following a fall and had a fractured bone. He had surgery to place screws into the fracture. That surgery went well. During his physical therapy, he would become dizzy. The hospital determined he needed a triple bypass. He waited for almost a week for the surgery. his surgery was bumped for emergency cases. On the day of his surgery...I was never notified (the hospital had my number and knew I would come straight there because I visited everyday). When I arrived at the hospital, I was told the doctor had failed to see my dad was put on blood thinners and had slight bleeding. Come to find out in his records, he had massive interoperative bleeding requiring 15 units of blood that day. He survived that mistake. No one in the hospital would talk to me. I struggled to find anyone who would answer questions. After days, I sat at the hospital and refused to leave until I spoke with my dads surgeon(who would never speak to me). He had very little to say. Claiming my dad had basically a quadruple bypass which his surgical needs outweighed the blood thinner issue. Hmmmm....if he was such an emergency case why bump his surgery days prior for emergency cases?  (per autopsy...the doctor only did a double and closed him up but billed for a triple).

After the breathing tube was removed my dad could no longer swallow. My dad and myself plead for some sort of iv nutrition as he was starving. The hospital told my dad he needed to make an effort to eat, and they put him on an appetite stimulant. They denied us TPN which is IV nutrition. But he coughed and vomited up every time he tried to drink or eat. 10 days went by. No one would listen. His mouth was so dry that he had dry skin built up so bad it looked like scales. Finally a nurse heard our pleas (it is documented in his records) and she had a swallow test ordered. He failed the test and they finally admitted he could not swallow and was aspirating everything. They were literally starving him to death. We thought our prayers were answered when they agreed to place a feeding tube as my dad was starving (can you imagine having massive bleeding and being denied nutrition to heal)? Abuse. Unfortunately, when they placed the feeding tube...they punctured my dads bowel (lied about it..but it is documented in his records). He went septic and bled to death days later in front of me. I called for help. It took someone over an hour to come clean him. I had to grab towels to stack at the edge of the bed to keep the blood from pouring all over the floor.

I have photos, video, detailed logs of who I spoke with in the hospital etc. I watched my dad bleed to death from his rectum and stomach where the feeding tube was (btw, the feeding tube never my dad went without nutrition from Nov 10th to the day he died on Dec 7th). The hospital also performed surgeries I was never told about or documented, performed CPR which I was never told and is not documented (per his autopsy). The cover up in this case is ridiculous. The hospital denied me an autopsy but one was performed for FREE for me by the medical examiner because the hospital failed to report my dads death which they found strange. My dads death was ruled "ACCIDENTAL". He is also listed as a John Doe even though they had all the info. His body was taken by a "funeral director" for cremation....yet he would ignore my calls and emails. I had to get Tallahassee involved to find my dad's body. It took me almost two months to get him back for burial. He was delivered in a plywood box nailed shut, not cremated. I had asked prior if I could view his body to make sure it was him since he was missing. I was denied. A Military Honors funeral in a plywood box. Unreal. My dad was a Sergeant in Vietnam.

AHCA investigated Florida Hospital Waterman and they were found in several violations. Yet, this does nothing to hold the people at fault responsible. My dad's death was not accidental.....he was killed by gross negligence and corporate cover ups. 

Despite all the physical proof that I have, I can not hold the hospital responsible.  Every lawyer tells me I have a case..but due to this clause, they can not help me. The doctors/hospital got away with murder. They tried to cover it up. They need to be held responsible.  How do these doctors live with themselves?  Has this become so normal in their everyday care of patients....that it doesn't even phase them? How many more families have to suffer? How many more nightmares do I need to endure? How many families are experiencing this same thing? 

Let's try and make a change. I will not stop. I made that promise to my father as he took his last breath. We need to protect our family members. Florida is the only state with the type of statute. It is unconstitutional. Doctor's must be held accountable for their actions and especially, cover ups.

Ways you can help:

1)Sign my petition

2) Go to: and ask for support of the new bill House Representative John Cortes is sponsoring to end this statute. This is a form email that will automatically ask for support to every House Representative and Senator in the United States. We must get this bill passed in order to protect our loved ones.

Thank You


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