The number of patients in New Jersey who have at least one experience of a doctor not listening to their concerns might be higher than some people realize. In these instances, most patients are simply advised to seek a second opinion from a different doctor or hospital, but depending on the illness or injury, there is not always time to do so. This point was made clear when an out-of-state woman died shortly after experiencing a rather severe instance of apparent hospital negligence.
The 57-year-old woman initially reported to the hospital with trouble breathing. At some point after being admitted, attending doctors decided that she seemed stable enough and discharged her. At that point she insisted that she was still experiencing considerable trouble breathing and decided not to leave the hospital.
When she did not stop complaining about her symptoms or leave hospital grounds, staff took an unconventional approach. They called the police to have her escorted off of the property rather than considering the possibility that doctors might have overlooked something. After being placed in handcuffs, the patient was in the process of being escorted away when she collapsed. The officer promptly removed the handcuffs and brought her back, but again doctors refused to readmit her. She later died from an apparent illness or injury related to her symptomatic breathing.
Area officials strongly believe that the woman's death would have been avoided if doctors had given adequate traction to her complaints and if the hospital had not taken such egregious steps to forcibly remove the woman from the grounds. Sadly, many patients in New Jersey are continually treated as if the health care they are receiving is some type of privilege rather than a dire necessity for continued livelihood. This type of hospital negligence is not only dangerous for a patient's quality of life, but also for his or her very livelihood. Most families understand that successfully settling a medical malpractice suit will not bring back a loved one, but many move forward with claims anyway in order to help prevent similar tragedies from befalling other patients.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Woman Dies After Being Forcibly Removed From Hospital", Joe Reedy, Dec. 23, 2015