Earlier this week, former neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch was sent to life in prison for paralyzing an elderly patient during a botched 2012 surgery.
And while you may think the punishment was harsh considering Duntsch could have just made a terrible mistake, even his lawyer admitted he was a bad doctor that continued to work despite many red flags.
Melinda Lehmann, his defense attorney, said Duntsch was a scapegoat for a medical establishment that just kept hiring him and putting him in operating rooms.
“Is it right for him go to away, to be thrown away when all of them profited?” she said of the hospitals that hired him. “They all have blood on their hands.”
On Tuesday’s show, while discussing this horrible case, a malpractice expert called in and said the only thing shocking about his case was that there aren’t more doctors being thrown in jail.
“Christine from Albuquerque”, who is paralegal who specializes on malpractice cases, says there are a lot of doctors out there botching procedures and causing serious harm to patients. But despite having terrible records, many of these doctors are able to jump from job to job — making a good living as they continue to harm people. And that she says, is criminal.
Christine said it should be pretty simple, bad doctors should stop practicing if they can’t do their jobs. She used the example of a a roofer. If their work routinely resulted in a collapse and people died, “maybe you shouldn’t be a roofer”.
However, she says in the case of many doctors continue to work even though they know they’re bad. Lives could be saved if doctors turned each other in, but many remain silent.
The paralegal explained how patients can shop around for good doctors, but says many people make the mistake of judging doctors on their bedside manner. She says her doctor isn’t the warmest guy, but he’s a good surgeon.