In An Exchange of Ideas with Dr. Sterling on 4.13.21, this Happened
Malpractice Across Two “ Helping Professions,” Medicine and Law Enforcement
So… if you showed up to one of my emergency rooms as a diabetic in distress with a ridiculously high blood sugar level (just one of many examples), I’d be armed with several medicines that are simultaneously life-saving and life-threatening but need to be given in a certain order. Let’s just say I grab the wrong vial and pump you full of one of the medicines (not named here as to not give anyone any ideas), causing your death. What would your response be?
We already know. There were over 12,400 medical malpractice cases last year in the US. New York had over $7 billion in payouts last year by itself. Keep that same energy for police officers who can’t figure out the difference between a taser and a gun. Newsflash: even if it’s not intentional, and even if it’s not your fault, it’s your responsibility. Some professions come with a responsibility to get it right as the standard to participate. You want to change behavior? Assign some personal liability to the decisions of officers. It’s amazing how quickly behaviors fall in line with incentives and consequences.
#AskSterlingMD #TheOtherPandemic #EndRacism
Well, doc, Let’s just say I could prove that you did grab the wrong vial and pump you full of one of the medicines (not named here as to not give anyone any ideas), causing your death. What would your response be?
My response is irrelevant, as I no longer care how I die once I am dead. The better questions might be:
1.) Do I have the luxury of career, income and liquid assets to pursue litigation on behalf of my deceased beloved family matriarch? 2.) a.) What are the consequences of a win? b.) a win over 5 or more year's; c.,)a loss? d.)a loss over 5 years?
3.) Do I have a supportive immediate or extended family for the duration of litigation? 4.) Can my life and career survive a virtual strip search and pat down?
Next, 5.) Will I need to re-connect with the homicidal rage and anger towards the plaintiffs as the lone lead complainant? 6.) What are the health risks? 7.) Why not let it go?
Full disclosure: My answers:
1.) NO. So for me, that was the end of that road.
True story..I returned home, found a job that allowed me to live in my vehicle and worked until I was placed in affordable shared housing..That housing and the job to afford it ended in the midst of the covid19 lockdown. But that's a story I've already reported extensively this past year; so I will not repeat the gory details here. Even a million of the 7 billion would have helped, but apparently was not required in my situation.
There will always be excuses and explanations when unarmed people are shot and killed by law enforcement. What I want is all possible logical and non-lethal consequences for such choices by law enforcement personnel. I would prefer the person who took the life be the interview subject, not their supervisors, current and or former wives, local mayors and politicians, hired attorneys, family pastors, ______(fill in all names except shooter here).
Why? Because everyone who takes a human life of a person or hurts and or maims someone without a gun by using a gun should have to justify their using a gun.
Police shootings of unarmed suspects using deadly and or maiming force are not the same as a doctor who makes a fatal effort when trying to save the life of another. Therein lie two major differences 1.) Police are no longer people who want to keep suspects alive and 2.) Doctors or at least the doctor of Jeffrey Sterling’s example would always be able to explain what they did to hasten the accidental death of a patient. We would not expect anyone else to speak as a supervisor or as a person who controls my livelihood to even think about an attempt to explain my actions. Why do we continue to tolerate these enabling mini- explanations for every justification of gun violence?