Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The TRUTH OF THE MATTER is that Doctors have gotten progressively more sloppy over the last 20 years. That coincides with the advent of Versed, so let's look at some of the more obvious reasons for this.
The lawyer states that it is NOT ENOUGH that the care giver "ran the stop sign." You said no, you didn't sign an informed consent, you had your procedure misrepresented, one of the side effects that they failed to warn you of happened, the CRNA was working without oversight, they did the old "bait and switch" to allow a student to do your surgery, they let nurses practice threading a catheter into your sexual organs, you were harmed? TOO DAMN BAD! That's right. Just because the medical people broke many laws doesn't mean that you can sue, you can't.
So the medical people ran the stop sign. They were only trying to help you. You have to PROVE that not only did they run the stop sign, you have to prove that the stop sign was there for a reason, that the stop sign wasn't a yield sign, and that by running the stop sign they caused you permanent harm.
Not only do you have to prove that they caused permanent harm, but that EVEN IF you said no, that you would not have continued with the procedure once they told you all the stuff that could happen. Saying no (stop sign) doesn't really mean no. It means nothing. This is why you can't say no. Even if you say no, it could have meant that you really meant yes, but you didn't know that you really needed this regardless of risk and you are too stupid to decide.
Are you confused? That's what they want. while they say they want patients to be involved in their own health care, this is a lie. They only want you involved to the point where you recognise that they are GODS and you show the proper deference.
If you try to sue, you will be viciously attacked by the defence counsel. They will fight you tooth and nail. Just because you said NO, didn't have an informed consent, weren't given alternatives to intrusive surgery, weren't warned of any side effects, and were basically hit in the head with drugs, especially Versed, got a preventable infection, had severe side effects that ruined your life, too damn bad. You are pond scum and deserve to be further harmed by the medical profession.
If you don't have deep pockets forget about being able to sue. The lawyers know that it will be a protracted fight and will want you to pay for their out of pocket expenses at the very least. These can add up. At the top of the list is your "expert witness."
This is a Doctor who is also a witness. Not just any expert Doctor will do. THIS Doctor has to make his living doing trials because the AMA has probably black balled him/her for speaking out against his fellow medical professionals. That's right, the AMA retaliates against Doctors who tell the truth about the harm done to patients. This will cost you $10,000 to $25,000.
There are a lot of miscellaneous fees too, court fees, filing fees, etc. This all adds up. If you are already injured this will probably be too costly. The Doctors have plenty of money to defend themselves.
Versed is a perfect drug because mental illness is subjective. Not many of us have the foresight or money to have a cognitive function test done before we are injected with Versed. The drug was a total surprise to me, as it is to most people. I have spoken of the excuses given as to why Versed couldn't possibly be the culprit so I won't go over them here, but rest assured they will never admit that their wonder drug causes enormous suffering in a lot of people.
Next time you go to the hospital go over the consent with a fine tooth comb. Strike anything you don't want and initial it. Write in large red letters with the red indelible pen you brought with you, NO VERSED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Protect yourself. This may enable you to sue when they go ahead and do whatever the hell they freaking want to anyway.
Stay awake as long as possible. Stay awake and supervise THE WHOLE THING if possible. You can't tell me that these Doctors aren't a lot more careful when they have an awake and cognizent patient. That way if there is an oops moment you can remember. If you are going to be a wake anyway, just amnestic, there is no reason why you can't be awake and AWARE...
Document document document. If you do get a lawyer interested make sure that you know who it was that screwed up. You need the name and title of every person in the room and who they are working for, the hospital, an anesthesia group, who is it you need to talk to if there is a problem. This is really important.
Get your records as soon as possible even if there was no problem. Hospitals heavily redact (in violation of the law) your chart if they think there is a problem. They don't get into any trouble for this so it is standard procedure. Make sure you get you copies lest something show up later. These people are adversaries, you need to even up the playing field.
Be prepared. Keep in mind that you may need to sue. As lax as hospitals and surgeons are about your life and safety you need to be an advocate for yourself even before you need a lawyer.
I am adding that the district attorney in St. Maries Idaho told me that ALL OF THE PATIENT RIGHTS LAWS ARE CIVIL LAWS. What that means boys and girls is that the Doctors, hospitals, clinics etc. have absolutely no criminal offense laws that pertain to them. They know this. The civil lawsuits that they have been crying about for so long are basically non existant. This has led to the health care crisis we have today. There is no government oversight to make sure that we are not RIPPED OFF by predators at the hospital. We ARE considered prisoners of the hospital and they feel that they can do everything that they want to do to you. There is nothing we can do about it!!! There are no lawyers who want to take these cases of assault and patient rights violations. There is money to be made by forcing us to endure more treatment than we want and the drug of choice to ensure that we can be abused is Versed.
Here is what Informed Consent means today; They tell you an abridged version of your procedure omitting anything that would make you say no. You sign it without knowing a damned thing. Informed Consent! They will tell you "I don't have time to tell you every little thing." "That was the (interchangeable person other than themselves) job." "That side effect has never happened before." Oh there are endless excuses for the hapless patient. By the way, these excuses are not only lies, but they are totally in defiance of informed consent laws.
Here are some other misconceptions about "informed Consent." Informed consent is where we medical people get to inform the patient to whatever degree we feel won't upset the patient and the patient consents. WORSE YET; The medical people get to play psychic! They get to decide that you would have gone ahead with your procedure EVEN IF THEY HAD TOLD YOU THE TRUTH! Can you believe it! No wonder most of them are arrogant! YOU have to PROVE that you would have declined the treatment if they had explained it. Even if you say no very loud and clear, they can still dispense with informed consent on the premise that you really would have agreed, if only they had the time to explain it to you.
Here are some of the excuses from my own experience. "I didn't have time to explain it." You don't want to feel the pain." This is true, I don't want to feel pain. However I don't want amnesia to trick me into thinking there was no pain. See the difference? They have pain medication, which I wanted. They had amnesia drugs which I clearly did not want. They knew perfectly well that I didn't want to be knocked silly or out.
My CRNA, the omnipotent God, "read my mind" and decided that I truly did want amnesia and general anesthetic. He pushed his own desires off on me, pretending that he only had my best interests at heart. He lied to me about Versed. He pretended to go along with my statements declining this kind of drug and declining the general anesthetic. This totally pisses me off. If you are reading this and recognise me little CRNA, you are not psychic. I hate you for degrading me and treating me like a dog. I absolutely despise you! This man is a brutal dictator once he has a helpless patient. Don't let him work on you if you want that "patient autonomy" which is the law. Don't let him touch you, he will defy you and fail to get an informed consent. Don't let him fool you. This man needs to work at Gitmo. Better yet he needs to be in jail.
The sad part is that Aaron is not alone in his thinking. This attitude is pervasive. "We don't work in a vacuum" is what one person said in defence of their practice of deceiving the patient. This person claims that no violation of the patient can occur because there are so many people involved with the patients care. This is false. These people are in collusion to deprive you of your patient rights.
Another problem is their claim that they are "treating patients with respect." Using a drug like Versed to gain compliance and forcing the patient to be obedient against their will is NOT respectful. I don't give a damn how the anesthesia provider or surgeon SAYS that they are respectful, if they are giving you drugs against your will this is a violation. Just like rape folks. We said NO. Just because we were unable to vocalize our objections, or were ignored because you think we lack capacity once you inject us with Versed, that does NOT mean that you have our permission to continue!
Informed consent should mean that we are told what the drugs are and the plan of our surgery. This would include a description of the amnesia, obedience, the inability to object once sedated with Versed. Also included should be the fact that the care providers can't tell if you have amnesia, the fail rate, (10%) and that if the amnesia doesn't work that you will be tortured and unable to stop the procedure.
We should also have a description of the surgery, including negative side effects. We should be told where the incision is going to be, how long our convalescence will be, what complications COULD happen. It would be nice to know the rate of complication for the particular surgeon, but since we can't even get what the LAW REQUIRES in regard to informed consent, good luck with this.
If you do not get an informed consent that says anything except for "I consent to the surgery and anything that the Doctor needs or wants to do" run, not walk to the nearest exit. This is a torture chamber and these people have zero respect for you. They are already in violation of the law. Don't stay it will only get worse.
If you get an informed consent that goes on and on about "blood products" or "living will" on the page and one tiny paragraph at the bottom about submitting to the surgery, don't sign it. They will trick you with this document and you will find out after that you actually signed a consent, not for blood products or the living will, but anything at all that the surgeon wants. There is a reason they sneak this into something that seems innocuous!
In my case there was a blurb about the surgery at the bottom of the blood products page. Most of the page concerned blood transfusions, which was explained in detail. Not explained and unnoticed by me was the surgery consent at the bottom. There was no explanation of conscious sedation, no mention of general anesthetic or risks of these things. Nothing concerning the surgery itself, no side effects, nothing. This is against the law, but it doesn't matter. By law the surgeon must see the patient before surgery to go over the risks and benefits of the surgery and get his own informed consent signed. This step is often eliminated.
If you don't get a separate form, if you don't see anything about conscious sedation, amnesia etc., if you haven't seen the surgeon in the hospital, get out of there. My surgeon never showed up until I was already in the OR. He never explained anything to me at all.
The CRNA chose not to reveal that he was going to force me to endure whatever he wanted. He also chose not to get informed consent at all because he already knew that I couldn't do anything about it. He attacked me and humiliated me with impunity. The informed consent law did not protect me. Don't let them get away with saying they "don't have time" to explain anything, they are in a rush to get you to the surgeon. This is against the law. They have to explain it to you regardless of time restraints, it's the law. Question everything. If they seem cagey, leave and reschedule the surgery.
It is my belief that my surgeon Dr. Frankenstein chose not to see me in advance because he didn't want me to turn down the surgery. He needed more practice at this particular surgery and knew that I would not allow him to knock me out. He did send in his PA, Traitor, who couldn't answer any questions. (Traitor also referred to me as "it." This is also a red flag.) This is all in violation of patient rights laws.
People the only way we are going to get true informed consent is to petition our elected officials about it. Hospitals are truly rogue institutions. We need to assert our rights not to be given treatment without explanation. We have rights, you need to know them and you need to know what the informed consent is required by law to have in it.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
When I had to have the expensive and devastating surgery done over I chose a small hospital in a town of less than 4,000. While I was, quite naturally, not the same pleasant woman from my previous surgery, and they could not understand my anger and paranoia about being given Versed, they were very kind. I got to speak to the anesthesia provider, another CRNA, (from the same outfit as the horrid man who did the original) days ahead of the surgery! He assured me that Versed would NOT EVEN BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS ME!
I got my surgery with only Fentanyl 2 mils. for the tourniquet pain and some nausea medication. I got a Bier block which worked for the pain in my wrist, it was expertly done. Not only did the new CRNA go along with MY plan, he also kept releasing and re tightening the tourniquet to prevent the extreme pain that the previous operation had caused.
Tourniquet pain is nothing to laugh at folks. When my arm came back to life after the axillary block of the first operation the pain was excruciating! I had no idea what had caused it, had no idea that a tourniquet had been applied at hundreds of pounds and then just left there for the entire operation. I thought that that severe pain was a result of the axillary block that the original CRNA had botched. The dreaded NERVE DAMAGE that the original CRNA had used to try to coerce me into a general anesthetic. God I was scared. I couldn't function with that kind of pain forever! I didn't know how long it would last, nobody saw fit to tell me anything, either before or after. Shouldn't this be mentioned in an informed consent?
I wish I could say that having a good experience in the meantime helped me. Sadly, it was so hard to convince the medical providers NOT to give me this drug, and in corresponding with anesthesia providers on the phone and on-line, I am still very worried about getting Versed again.
I want to publicly thank my benefactors at a Community Hospital in Idaho. They were kind, concerned and didn't throw me out of the hospital for being so belligerent about Versed. I got the operation I wanted in the first place at this small hospital.
I also want to thank the Doctor from "Trying to make sense of it all." He is a great man, who understands how very important "informed" consent is. He has given me a bird's eye view of what happens, even in the most prestigious hospitals. Thanks Doctor!
I want to thank so many of the CRNA's from nurse-anesthesia.org. To all of you who showed concern for our plight in regards to informed consent and the sneaky application of Versed, thank you very much. Any one of you nurses would be just fine with me. You are a credit to your profession. Now if you could figure out how to weed out the bad guys from your midst. You know who I am talking about...
For my surgeon who cleaned up after my botched surgery, THANKS! My thumb never went numb, let alone my whole hand. I had none of the side effects from my first operation. Good job. You are the bomb. Lucky you, if I break anything else I will see you first. This is a great comfort. I have no intentions of allowing one surgery in one hospital to prevent me from enjoying that which makes my life worth living. Horses. I will never break another horse, or ride hunter/jumper horses because of the permanent damage to my hand caused by the original surgery, but at least it didn't get WORSE after the corrective surgery! Thanks again Dr., you saved my hand!
If any of you anesthesia providers want to put your name on a list of providers who don't arbitrarily use Versed, please contact me. We may be able to start a consumer list, even a secret one, where concerned patients can check and see if they are getting an anesthetist that doesn't use Versed.
Ditto anybody whose colonoscopy clinic allows the patient to have a colonoscopy, endoscopy, etc. without conscious sedation, that would be information that our readers might like to have. We are getting closer and closer to having customers be able to have some choice about their health care. Lets get a jump on it and have savvy patients pick their team!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My surgeon, Dr. Frankenstein, did not reveal any of the risks for the particular surgery I had performed. He forgot to tell me that my hand would be numb and that I would have a 70% loss of grip in my hand because of him "tugging on the nerves." He neglected to mention that he had to slash through the tendons in order to do this surgery. I found the incision right straight through my tendons on the inside of my wrist. This too should not have been a surprise!
Dr. Frankenstein allowed the CRNA or somebody to put a tourniquet on too tight and leave it like that for the entire surgery. New style tourniquets are made so that they can be tightened and released so that the extreme tourniquet pain doesn't happen. Naturally I was not important enough to worry about tourniquet pain. The pain from them leaving that tourniquet on was more than the incision or surgery. It was agonizing and I didn't know if it would last forever or not! This should have been explained to me and steps should have been taken to ensure that it didn't happen. There is no excuse for this.
Dr. Frankenstein also deliberately withheld information about alternative surgeries that were less intrusive and had fewer side effects. There is an external fixator type remedy that would have been so much better for me. Unfortunately this was never mentioned until after my horrible outcome from HIS desired surgery.
Dr. Frankenstein pretended to go along with my wishes to remain awake and alert. He knew that he doesn't work on anybody who is conscious and he deliberately withheld this information from me. He allowed or directed the anesthesia nurse to give me Versed to gain compliance and then ordered me to be knocked out. No informed consent and absolutely no communication.
I go on about this because all of this is in direct violation of the law and is UNETHICAL! It is unethical to conceal things in order to get an affirmative response from the unwitting patient. It is a violation of trust to do this as well. I trusted that my Doctor had my best interests at heart, not his own desires. I trusted him to reveal any downside to my surgery, as I have explained. I trusted him to make known to the anesthetist that I was not to be drugged, but instead he colluded with them so that he could have his own way. This is UNETHICAL and illegal.
I trusted my Doctor to make sure that I was treated with respect. Dr Frankenstein allowed my CRNA to make crude and insulting statements about me, in my presence and his. He directed this person to knock me out in flagrant violation of my wishes. He allowed nurses to practice on me.
I trusted that my modesty would be protected, and instead I was apparently a living corpse for students to practice threading a catheter into my vagina. Right in front of the nasty CRNA!!! Of course they deny all of this, just like they denied that I was treated like steer at the slaughter house. I got a kidney infection from it! This is unethical. I never gave permission to use my body as a teaching tool. Once again this is unethical and illegal. It's immoral too. Nobody should have their sexual organs exposed and experimented on without informed consent! If they are going to use us as a live cadaver, the hospital should at least be responsible for treating any infections that result... Maybe the whole surgery should be free as long as we are simply the test subject.
This is all medical care as it is today. It's shameful. Informed consent is a nuisance, ethics are out the door and immoral behavior is rampant. There are too many people complaining about this stuff for it to be just an isolated incident. It is a pattern of abuse. Be very careful out there.
All of this is my personal experience and opinion, and I have had to extrapolate a lot of what happened because the hospital lied to me and refused to admit or reveal certain things. The AMNESIA DIDN'T WORK!!! I know what they lied about after the Versed and before the general anesthetic, and from that I can assume that they lied about other things that I can only surmise. I would think that it should be unethical to refuse to reveal the truth about what happens in the OR.
CRNA's are required by law to introduce themselves and state their purpose for being in your room. Funny how they never seem to say, "Hi, I'm a nurse and I will be performing your anesthesia today instead of a Doctor!" Mine introduced himself by his first name and insinuated he was a Doctor. This is a big no no. I, quite naturally, would have taken exception to this. I was having a "dangerous" nerve block as explained by my wannabe Doctor, and I have had previous problems with anesthesia agents. I needed a Doctor. The law states that I can request a Doctor, but first you have to be informed that this person is a nurse, not a Doctor, and will be performing the Doctor's job. So we are right back to "informed consent" aren't we?
This bait and switch should be contained in the "informed consent." You have a right to have the CRNA explained to you along with the information that you are not required to have a nurse instead of a Doctor. This is more information that the medical people choose not to reveal. This is our right to know. It's the law. Who will win this battle? It should be patients, not deceptive hospital personnel.
The law also states that the CRNA must be under the supervision of a Doctor. Good luck with that. This is another law that the hospital finds itself unable to comply with. Since hospitals have no fiduciary duty to the patient, what the hell do they care which laws are broken, they are not responsible.
So why is it then that we as patients are not allowed to select our anesthesia provider, just as we selected our surgeon or GP? Can anybody answer that? I didn't even get to speak to mine until show time. The hospital selected this lawless person to administer anesthesia to me without properly informing me of who he was and what he was doing, and yet they have no responsibility for him in the hospital. He is a free agent to obey or not the laws pertaining to his job.
In regard to the expense of CRNA's. The whole concept as near as I can make out was that CRNA's would save money. You can have the little nurse take care of the light weight anesthesia and save the others for a Doctor, who allegedly makes more money. Only problem is, this CRNA person has to be supervised by a Doctor as per the law.
So instead of one person making a 6 figure salary, now you have 2 people making 6 figure salaries. The CRNA (that's right folks nursey poo makes a 6 figure salary) AND the supervising Doctor. Here's where it can get really ticklish, so if you are an ANESTHESIOLOGIST (not a nurse) why don't you set me straight.
The supervising Doctor gets paid for supervising whether he/she actually does or not because that's the law. This has to be on paper at least, even if the Doctor was nowhere near the OR. The Doctor could be "supervising" many CRNA's and getting paid for each one of them whilst he/she (the Doctor) is in the cafeteria. They do bill you for the Doctor AND the CRNA, for the same procedure, get out your billing statement and see. This saves money?
There are a lot of things going on behind the white wall of silence that do not pass the smell test. If these people think that this shabby care can go on, all the while becoming so expensive that only welfare recipients and government employees can afford it think again. Health care is the next bubble to burst as it becomes a luxury few can afford. Unless they start euthanizing all of their "human capital" (you know all those pesky working people who pay all the bills) our politicians are going to HAVE TO PASS LAWS TO ALLEVIATE THIS PROBLEM! THERE IS NO OTHER WAY OUT OF THIS MESS WE CALL HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY!
Sorry folks, but we cannot have medical people forcing us into expensive, unnecessary treatments, like conscious sedation! We have to have some control over what happens to us in the hospitals and clinics. We need to get control of the people in those hospitals. Medical care has become an orgy of lawbreaking and expense. The first on my wish list is to put restraints on the use of Versed. It's unnecessary for most, unreasonably expensive, and nearly impossible to decline.
If you know ANYBODY, your cousins second cousins ex wife's step grandmother, ANYBODY who has been able to sue for medical malpractice please let me know. If this person actually won, that's even more unusual. I want to know the year and the problem. I believe that medical practitioners have successfully lobbied our legislators (they have scads of money to buy off people) and threatened them with being without medical care at all if they are not held in reverence and perfect holiness at all times. They are above reproach and impervious to lawsuits and now they get to have some fun. We need to stop them!
Here is one of the things I am talking about with my legislators; Number one on the list is the idea of patient self determination and "informed consent." Since Doctors and hospitals are playing fast and loose with "informed consent" here is an effective and reasonable way to get them to tell us the truth. If it can be proven through mediation that the informed consent laws were breached, either through deliberate omission, or by not having an "informed consent" at all, the patient has no liability for any charges arising from said treatment.
So, if you went to the hospital expecting to be "awake and alert" and find that they gave you Versed, omitted the amnesia, omitted the long term anxiety, omitted the unnatural obedience, failed to tell you that once you were sedated that you would no longer be able to stop the procedure, then you don't have to pay. It's very simple. Show the "informed consent" which details all of this and there's no problem.
You can see by my example that the REFORMED "informed consent" is a lot more detailed than the current one. This reflects the concerns of many of us that this drug in particular has had inadequete consent forms in regards to its use. This is not "something to relax you." Whether you remember it or not, you will be terrified, just unable to express it or do anything about it. You will feel pain, scream, beg for mercy and the procedure will continue.
Take it from somebody who retained memory, I was immobile, yes, but relaxed? Hardly. I was angry, upset, horrified, humiliated etc. but there wasn't a damn thing I could do but lie there like a corpse and take it. Unless they ordered me to do something, which I promptly did AGAINST MY OWN WILL! It was the most dehumanizing experience of my life. My CRNA claims I was "very relaxed" during all of this. Difference of persective.
So, "informed consent" must contain facts that a normal person would want to know, not just what the medical professionals choose to reveal. Simple, effective and watch the medical folks scream bloody murder. Just think of all the free colonoscopies and other minor procedures that we will get before the medical community "gets it!" Now that is small comfort if you have an idiosycratic reaction like so many of us have had, but it's a start.
Just think, if a law like this had been on the books, you may not have even gotten this drug and you wouldn't be here reading this now! I will have some thoughts on surgeons and the truth and about anesthesia providers and the truth in other posts.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Before you decide to have that surgery, no matter how trifling, talk to your Doctor. Ask pointed questions about the preferred method of anesthesia. A really good blog about this is this one specifically about colonoscopy. Versed is almost universally used for this and this blogger makes some very good points.Before Your Colonoscopy, Read This»Colonoscopy Warning
Don't let your Doctor obfuscate. They are good at this. He/she may tell you, "Well you have to take that up with the anesthesia provider." NO, YOU DON'T. Your surgeon/Doctor knows full well how HE/SHE WANTS THE PATIENT." If you take exception to "conscious sedation" tell them this is unacceptable under any circumstances. Depending on their response is whether you tell him where to go. Its either see you at the hospital or see you in hell. There is no in between. There is no small amount of Versed. There is no "slight" amnesia. If he/she can't be truthful NOW, don't expect that to change in the hospital. Don't you wish you had known any of this before they got you the first time? It's OK, its the best kept secret I've ever seen!
Now that you have talked to your main provider, the hospital is the next hurdle. Did you know that you can strike and part of the consent that you don't want? I didn't know that. Nobody told me even when I questioned some of it like student nurses and student Doctors "practicing" on me. I was concerned but not alarmed because I had no idea about Versed. I expected to "awake and alert" as per my stated wishes. If I had known that I was going to be knocked in the head I would have been more careful, I still TRUSTED medical providers.
READ THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT! TAKE A PEN AND DRAW A LINE THROUGH EVERYTHING ON THERE THAT PERTAINS TO STUFF LIKE DOCTOR CAN DECIDE! Doctor isn't allowed to decide anything without informing YOU and asking your PERMISSION! Period. This is one way they get around the "informed consent." Your Doctor knows this and that is why he/she isn't telling you the truth. Once you are on THEIR TURF and sign in, they feel like they can do whatever they like. Remember the MONEY. The hospital exists to make money, not care for patients. The patients are a necessary evil so that the hospital can make MONEY!
Even if you are just having a splinter removed or having your shoulder put back into place, don't for one minute imagine that none of this will happen to YOU! Once you sign that hold harmless agreement allowing them free rein to do whatever they like, you'll be shocked at how much stuff they will do to you! STRIKE IT OUT EVEN IF IN YOUR WILDEST DREAMS IT COULDN'T POSSIBLY PERTAIN TO YOUR TREATMENT. You want something fixed, they want to make it as expensive as possible, and they want to use your anesthetized body as a training and research tool.
There are also some clauses about disposing of tissue. Don't give them that permission either. Suppose they remove the wrong whatever, or take out something they SAY was cancerous. You may need that bit to as evidence later. You don't want them saying "Well you gave us permission to dispose of it, and its gone now along with any proof of wrong doing." "Too bad, so sad, now pay us."
There may be some clauses about allowing them to twiddle with your DNA. Now if they want to pay you for that privilege, that's up to you, but to allow them to make money with any part of you while charging you enormous amounts of money for it is just wrong. Strike that line.
I can almost guarantee that there will be a clause about allowing students to practice. This is the best way I can think of to get one of those new staph infections. At the very least you may wind up with a kidney infection, or an especially looong surgery with escalating risks of complication. Unless you just love the idea of being a guinea pig or lab rat, and pay for any complications, infections etc, don't let them do this. There are other trusting souls besides you who will do this. Don't be the living cadaver!
Don't agree to anything besides what you discussed with your Doctor already. The rest of the stuff is an outrage. I wish I could remember all the things that were covered in the check in document, which by the way, I can't get a copy of. I'm sure there were more that I felt didn't apply to me and stupidly signed it anyway. I just knew that verbally declining things, saying no, not signing an "INFORMED" consent for my particular operation, would keep me safe. I was wrong.
Once you have crossed off these things do not think that you are safe yet. You must write on the "informed consent," the one which you will demand before they put the IV in, that "under no circumstances" am I to receive "conscious sedation," Versed, Midazolam or any other drug in that class or that causes amnesia. I was told (afterward) by an anesthesiologist that I hadn't said the magic words "under no circumstances" was I to receive this stuff. Like anybody even told me anything about it right? I didn't even know what to refuse, let alone those magic words! "Just say NO" only works in old television ads featuring Nancy Reagan!!
Once you are in the OR they may try some more sneaky word "parsing." They may claim that being unconscious or sleeping is the same as having amnesia. Unless you are a drunk or a sleepwalker, they are lying through their teeth. Don't fall for any of it. Be suspicious! Know that they do NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART! They are trying to make their job easier. They will be looking for ways to get around the "informed consent." Be very careful that you say nothing that could be misconstrued as consent!
Be firm and polite, but don't let them get away with anything.
Ask to see the bottles that they are drawing medication from. First of all you will have a penicillin type drug 30 minutes before your scheduled surgery. Check the bottle before you let them inject it in the IV. Look at the medications on the cart. If you see one labeled Versed, ask that it be removed from the tray completely. Tell them that even after you are "put out" that they are NOT ALLOWED TO ADD VERSED TO THE MIX.
I was told by one CRNA that even if you declined Versed in preop, that you absolutely will get it in the OR! NO YOU WON'T! Make sure they know that. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES! If you have an idiosyncratic reaction like so many of us do, it doesn't really matter if you had amnesia or not, got it preop, during surgery or what it still causes harm. There is no SAFE way to use this drug! I hate to put too fine a point on it but they will sell their grandmother to get that Versed into you!
Now you have some information on how to deal with "informed consent." If you have read the posts at http://www.versedbusters.blogspot/ you know that you are not the only one to have this reaction. You know that you had an idiosyncratic reaction to this drug in the past. It caused you to "decompensate" and it made you stop breathing. You have all the tools you need to prevent another personal catastrophe caused by this absolutely evil drug Versed.
Do you think I care if the surgeon won't work on me again? Hell to the NO! I wouldn't send my dog to that careless liar. My particular case went far beyond just the anesthesia, but there should be no surprise there! However the abuse started with VERSED! Any hospital that withholds pertinent information about Versed, can be counted on to do other bad things as well. My feeling is that without Versed, they would never have had the chance to injure me in other ways. The surgeon would have paid a little more attention to his job if I had been awake.
I wonder how many people who have had a bad colonoscopy with Versed and subsequently had a perforated bowel even thought about how vicious the exam was and how carelessly it was performed? If you have had this problem, ever think that Versed may have been the root cause? Colonoscopy is a pretty violent exam as done under Versed. You could have been vigorously trying to get away and forcibly restrained. Sounds like a good way to get a perforation to me!
So write a letter to the editor about being given a zombie and amnesia drug at the hospital. You can find your local paper on-line, usually with an area to write these "letters to the editor." You will have to identify yourself and where you live, but they will honor your request to remain anonymous. At least mine said they would. I didn't mind being identified.
The response to my letter was mixed. Real patients were surprised and dismayed, medical people were in a snit, but at least they know we are on to them. I wonder how many people tried to stop them from using Versed after reading my letter? More importantly, I wonder how many people got Versed even after they tried to stop them. The old "small dose" trick...
Most Versed is given in very small doses anyway. Apparently the average dose to create amnesia and total obedience is only 2 mgs. Versed has a very fine line between "therapeutic doses" ( a misnomer if i ever heard one) and stopping your breathing and heart. There IS NO THERAPEUTIC DOSE OF VERSED. This is poison, it shuts down large portions of your brain, leaving the other parts in terror! In my opinion, after having been assaulted with this drug, there are no safe doses.
Write a letter to the editor and warn others. (or contact me and use mine) I wish somebody had warned me! Versed should not be a secret.
There are several issues with the use of Versed, the first and foremost being "informed consent." Here is some background on "informed consent" and the reasons that we have such laws.Informed Consent: Encyclopedia of Everyday Law Notice in particular the statement "Importantly this means that the patient does not have a duty to inquire about risks or options; the duty rests with the treating Doctor." Are we CLEAR on that?
It is NOT YOUR FAULT that you didn't think to ask if their "something to relax you" causes amnesia and/or obedience against your will! This is a failure of communication at best and subterfuge and typical blame the victim at worst. DO NOT let these people intimidate you, tell you you shouldn't have signed the document without information etc. The information on Versed is deliberately withheld, and commonly the patient is blamed for "apathy," not asking questions and all the rest of their lame excuses why this drug wasn't explained. Who the hell would think to ask "does this drug cause amnesia?"
This means that "informed consent" is a coerced signing of a document designed to "hold harmless" your medical team. They are so used to this, that informed consent means nothing. This needs to change. The only way to change it is to start complaining to your legislators that "informed consent" laws need to be changed and strengthened. These people need to have their feet held to the fire for this breach of communication.
The excuse "I didn't have enough time to explain every little drug" is subterfuge. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for not telling the helpless patient about this drug! None. It is required by law, but as we all know medical professionals are some of the worst lawbreakers around, especially where it comes to informed consent!
Why should they follow the law? There is no penalty for NOT following the law! Informed consent is a mere formality for these people, not really necessary at all because they "know what's best." If you are lucky they will at least tell you before they inject you, and you stupid patient are to go along with whatever they want, no dissension allowed! Worse are the ones who leave the patient completely in the dark because "they know what's best" and proceed to do exactly what you told them not to, breaching the spirit of informed consent.
In a perfect world, the care providers would tell you about what they would like to do, outlining the effects of the drugs and the drawbacks. This would include the amnesia. They should also warn you that if you try to stop the procedure AFTER injection, that you will be unable to do so because you "lack capacity" while under Versed. You should have warning that if the amnesia doesn't work, they have no way of knowing this and will continue after being told to stop. This is REALLY IMPORTANT folks! Nobody wants to know that they can be screaming and writhing in pain and will be sat on, tied down or tied up despite your protestations! Even WITH amnesia is this how you want to be treated?
Our elected officials need to know this. Versed is such a big secret for a reason! Medical people stand to lose a lot of money if their control drug is taken away. They don't want to have to talk to you or explain anything. They want complete and immediate obedience without demur. They want you to be unable to remember being abused. But most of all, they want the MONEY for giving you Versed! They want to be overpaid and under worked. Versed is the perfect drug for this!
Your officials may be resistant to the idea that the people we trust with our very lives are offenders of the worst ilk. They won't like the idea that our medical workers are assaulting patients and denying them the most basic of human rights. You need to be prepared to give instances, web sites, and paperwork documenting the abuse. This is why I say to file complaints with your local "boards" first. Then you can point out that you have been abused and the law flouted.
Ask your elected officials what laws are on the books to prevent this kind of abuse. Ask how they are implemented. Ask about fines and sanctions for breaching the law. I think you will be horrified to learn that although "informed consent" laws are in there, there are no penalties at all for not following the law. Some officials may claim that if they were to follow the law, that it would force medical practitioners out of the state. Hogwash. Strong "informed consent" laws will help everybody. It will cut down on litigation, it will cut down on unnecessary treatments resulting in savings for all and a renewed trust in our medical providers. Informed consent laws are good for everybody, they shouldn't just be to protect the medical people.
Look up you state Senate "Committee on Health Care." Your state has one and if you are lucky you representative will be on it. Contact them armed with your paperwork. Request an audience with them or to appear at a meeting. Hitchhike there if you have to! This is important. Once again monetary savings are paramount, they are looking for ways to save money on health care costs which are in crisis right now. This is an easy way to trim millions of dollars off the cost of basic medical procedures. It is also a way to save some money on major surgery. If they cut out this one little step in medical care, the frivolous sedation the savings will be ASTRONOMICAL!
Remind them that in the few cases of true medical phobia, this "sedation" can be used, but only in extreme cases. The side effects such as long term hyper anxiety and PTSD like symptoms should be brought up as well. Not only is Versed unnecessary, but it is very HARMFUL to a lot of patients, especially if it is given without warning and without a true informed consent.
If you need help with figuring out who these elected officials are in your area feel free to contact me and I will find them for you! All I need is the city and state you are in. I will help in any way I can, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is The tired old trick of blaming others of the exact thing that you yourself are guilty of. To use their own words against them, we don't have time to give them a rundown on every single thing in our past that MAY OR MAY NOT cause Versed to give us PTSD! They don't have time to explain what Versed is, then they don't have time to listen to us drone on and on about our life experiences.
In reading through the responses of an unnatural number of anesthesia people, it occurs to me that these people get into anesthesia, not for some altruistic hocum like relieving pain, but for a far more sinister reason. I believe that they are getting into the business of conking people in the head because they have some unresolved violence issues themselves. This is a perfect job for people with sadistic tendencies isn't it?
Where else can you get a job where you can abuse patients, have them screaming and writhing in pain and get to laugh at their suffering? This comes through loud and clear. They are AMUSED at our pain. They think it's FUNNY that we have long term anxiety disorders from their poison! They could care less! Not exactly the response one would expect from our Florence Nightingale types is it?
I think that there should be some kind of mental health screening done on ALL medical care providers. ALL of them. There has to be some protection for patients from psychopaths going in to the medical field so that they can have free rein for their violent tendencies. Most other professions that have to do with public safety have to show that they are normal. That goes for police, social workers, teachers etc. Yet social misfits are allowed into the medical field. This needs to stop.
I also feel that medical providers, Doctors, nurses, anesthetists should be routinely drug tested. A random drug test is particularly important when the person involved has UNFETTERED ACCESS to drugs. Anesthesia providers have a really high incidence of drug abuse! Didn't know that did you? Here's the link to one study. Substance Abuse Among Physicians: A Survey of Academic Anesthesiology Programs -- Booth et al. 95 (4): 1024 -- Anesthesia & A...Let's get these rogue actors out of the hospital. It is just as important to know that our health care providers are not on drugs as it is for our truck drivers and air traffic controllers. Medical people are just too trusted in my opinion.
Stories abound from the Katrina fiasco, FindLaw: Louisiana Files Second-Degree Murder Charges Against Doctor, Nurses in Hurricane Katrina Hospital Patient Deathsto Dentists raping their Versed patients, to the nurse in England who raped and murdered people after giving them Versed. BBC News UK Nurse guilty of date rape killingThere is a Doctor from Canada who was just convicted of raping his patients after incapacitating them with Versed. Sask. doctor sentenced for rapeYou can Google these and MORE! This drug has way too much potential for abuse, even if you completely discount the long term psychological problems associated with it and the physical torture brought on by too much reliance on amnesia and not enough consideration for the patients' pain.
When you call, write, e-mail and fax your representatives these are some things that need to be done to keep us safe. Mental health screening and drug testing for everybody involved with patients.
If you are feeling brave, go take a look at http://www.nurse-anesthesia.org/. Look at how many of them feel that we patients are stupid jerks and that it doesn't matter how YOU THE PATIENT feel about this horrid drug Versed. They like it and one CRNA brags that he gets "heavy handed" with Versed. WARNING; IF YOU ARE STILL FEELING SENSITIVE DO NOT GO OVER TO THIS SITE!!!! Several of these people appear to have a personality disorder along the lines of "Narcissistic Personality Disorder" and are very nasty. A lot of Versed sufferers can't handle this kind of aggressive hatefulness, as we have already dealt with this attitude "up close and personal." This site is not for the faint of heart.
Another one, again if you are not too fragile, is http://www.allnurses.com/. Here again you will see the sneering disregard of the patient. The attitude is one of "if you don't like it then there is something WRONG WITH YOU! There are some really great nurses who "GET" the problem, but most think you are too stupid, ignorant and uneducated to take seriously. It is an excellent educational tool however. If you are wondering "How could they DO this to me?" This will enlighten you. It's good to know and will also help when we get to our legislators.
It may help you to see how some Versed sufferers have taken on these nasty health care people. It makes you feel like maybe we can do something about this attitude! Keep that in mind if you feel homicidal (a side effect of Versed) or suicidally depressed (a very common side effect of Versed) after reading through the posts.
Versed is an extremely bad drug and is responsible for a lot of anguish. The reason it is still used is for MONEY, OBEDIENCE and AMNESIA. You are easy to handle, will obey their every command, don't remember the abuse AND there's that extra MONEY! This is going to be a hard fight to get this poison shelved except in few cases so get ready.
Your mental health is subjective, health care providers LOVE this drug and they are denying that it could cause the symptoms we describe. As you read the posts on http://www.versedbusters.blogspot.com/ and http://www.askapatient.com/ you will see a commonality in our experiences that goes beyond the boundaries of "chance." It isn't coincidence that we all have the same symptoms. This is an idiosyncratic reaction to a very bad drug. You are not alone.
Monday, February 9, 2009
See if they can get the "conscious sedation" which was not explained to you removed from the bill. If the hospitals suddenly find that they are not going to get the MONEY for their drug of choice, they may think twice about injecting it. I am not sure how this will work, but we need to start complaining to people who actually have some power over the hospital and it isn't the poor patient. We are just the cash cows.
You can also go on-line and find your insurance group there. Write them an e-mail and send it to their FRAUD DEPARTMENT. It is usually listed on-line as "Report Fraud" or something similar. Outline your displeasure. Make sure they know, if applicable, that you must now have counseling, anti depression drugs etc, due to the laxness of the hospital's policies regarding "informed consent" and patient autonomy. Demand that they not pay for these anesthesia services which were fraudulently given and billed.
See if you will have to pay out of pocket if they decline payment. I don't think so, but I am not a lawyer.
If you are not insured, write to the fraud department anyway. Tell them that they are paying for frivolous things like "conscious sedation" and it is driving insurance rates up by paying for this unnecessary "drug therapy." Name the hospital that is using deceptive practices to line their pockets.
This is FRAUD by the way. Charging for services that are not necessary is FRAUD! Charging for services declined by the patient is FRAUD! No wonder our insurance premiums are beyond reach for a lot of working people! Desperately poor people have some kind of state run health care, people who are lucky enough to have a good job have employer provided health care, but other working people have nothing.
Maybe if the insurance companies quit paying for the extremely expensive "conscious sedation" we would be able to get some insurance for everybody.
At my hospital 10 out of 11 patient charts had incomplete surgical consent forms. That means that in nearly every case the hospital broke the law. The hospital was cited for this, but the money generated by Versed more than makes up for a silly little citation!
Informed consent is very important for patients, but for the hospital not so much, at least in practice. The hospital knows full well that they can violate the laws with impunity, but getting all of this on record is still important for when you talk to your elected officials. Remember this is about MONEY! This has nothing to do with you as a person. The Board of health and Welfare needs to know how the health care dollars for welfare and government employees are being squandered on things like Versed, which is only used to generate cash, number one, and it doesn't hurt that they can abuse patients physically as well, counting on the amnesia to prevent lawsuits. You know those lawsuits that they claim are driving up health care cost?
The next "board" you need to contact is your state nursing board. Chances are the cretin who jacked you with Versed is a nurse. You can find this nursing board on-line. In my state I had to call them, they sent me a form, I filled it out, they investigated.
Now you need to contact your "State Board of Medicine." Now you can go after the Doctor who failed to tell you about the risks associated with your surgery. Such as; did you know that a simple cataract surgery can destroy your eye? If your anesthesia provider is incompetent and you get nauseous on the operating table, you eye can be destroyed. Since nausea is a common side effect of pain medication, shouldn't this little tidbit be revealed?
If your eye is damaged, all your Doctor has to say is "patient moved." Of course "patient moved," patient was trying to vomit while strapped in place face up. Can you say aspiration of vomitus? So you lose your eye and maybe get vomit in your lungs. Did anybody tell you about that? If you got Versed you will wake up with a damaged or destroyed eye with only your doctor's word about what happened. Basically, you moved you jerk and this was unavoidable. Really?
Naturally the "Nursing Board" found that my CRNA was without fault in all of this. Are you seeing a pattern of abuse yet? My CRNA claimed that once in the OR I "didn't object" to general anesthesia. Well my goodness the fact that I was heavily sedated also in defiance of my wishes didn't matter. The fact that there was no informed consent didn't matter. I gave my permission by being unable to move or object once I was in the operating room. How's that for compassionate care?
I said no very loud and clear, but I was unaware they had a zombie drug like Versed! However I now have it officially on record that my CRNA did an end run around me by forcibly injecting me with a brain disabling drug in order to gain compliance. This looks good when you show it to your legislators.
The "Board of Medicine" will also probably side with the medical practitioner. This is how we got into this mess in the first place. No matter how egregious, no matter how many laws were broken, no matter how incompetent the people are who are involved in your care, nothing will happen. Legislators who are supposed to represent US, THE PEOPLE, are our last hope to rein in the medical profession. Get all the ammunition you can to show how callous the "Boards" are and how little they care about patient complaints.
Remember that right now our legislators are looking at the runaway cost associated with health care. It is my belief that Versed, in conjunction with the tort reform and all the rest of the protections for the poor little Doctors who are so afraid of malpractice has caused the pendulum to swing way too far in the Doctors' favor. We need to be able to say NO and have our wishes respected. If you don't contact these legislators and tell them what is going on with their constituents how would they know?
There is an excellent post on http://www.versedbusters.com/ by somebody who states that lawyers don't get Versed! I'll bet that legislators get to say NO as well, so it's up to us to let them know what is happening. Money is the main reason Versed is used and MONEY is the main way that we convince legislators to help us get this drug off the "standard of care" list and put in the "optional" list, just like sedation in dentistry!
The next thing to do is complain, complain. Obviously if you are reading this, you are probably at home. Get on the phone and call the hospital. Ask for the "patient relations" department or person. Explain your circumstances and why you feel like you have been violated. This drug wasn't explained, this drug was sneaked in, who authorized the use of this drug etc. They will probably tell you that it is "standard of care" to smash into your brain and make you into a zombie!
Keep in mind that this person is part of "risk management" at the hospital. Her/his job is to try to defuse any kind of malpractice suit. This person is in an adversarial position in regards to you. Don't let them fool you for one minute into thinking that they are on your side. They are on the side of the hospital and making money.
Try not to get really angry at this person. They will tell you how YOU "don't want to remember the pain," how "most people are happy to wake up and have it all over with" and various other insulting statements. They are trying to placate you because they think you are stupid. If enough people contact the hospital they will cause the hospital some alarm... This is the first step. Alarm the hospital. Only alarm will change hospital policy in the face of the enormous profit to be made by sedating everybody.
After you have your frustrating experience talking to the patient relations person you should be ready to write letters! You need to write a letter, in detail, about your experience and you need to address it to the CEO of the hospital. Talk about the "informed consent" being inadequate. Tell your story about being violated, signing an uninformed "informed" consent which is against the law. State that you were manipulated into having a drug you didn't wish to have. If, like me, they just dispensed with the informed consent altogether, state that. I can't promise that they will give a damn, but its a start.
Almost all of this goes to informed consent and the antiquated (?) idea that patients are in control of their bodies, not medical people. Informed consent requires that you are told of the benefits and risks of all medical procedures and drugs and that YOU have the right to decline any of it AT ANY TIME! Versed takes this right of refusal away, because after all, most people can't remember screaming and begging them to stop. Hell you probably didn't even get to object to the Versed in the first place.
Even if you do remember begging them to stop or having them continue with procedures you declined prior to sedation, it won't matter as they feel that you don't have the capacity to object once you are sedated. See how this works? You say "no," they want it, so they shoot you up with their control drug Versed, and do it anyway. This is an egregious violation of patient rights and autonomy. It's all done for money, not patient care.
Your little anesthesia nurse who decided that you would get this poison needs to be called on the carpet too. This person is required by LAW to identify themselves and their purpose in being in your room. This law is routinely dispensed with. Too many people would be unhappy to know that a nurse, not a Doctor is going to be doing the anesthesia. Plus, the hospital and anesthesia group can now charge DOUBLE for having two people instead of just one Doctor.
Find out who it was and if possible, the name of the anesthesiologist (the REAL Doctor) who was allegedly supervising the little nurse. This is the LAW. The little nurse MUST be supervised by the doctor. Unfortunately this law is also routinely violated, but its good to know just how far the hospital went in flouting the law.
This will be the next letter you write. He/she probably works for somebody called "Anesthesia Associates" or something. Find out which outfit they work for and write a letter to them stating how you feel that this person violated your rights.
It is important to take this step as the hospital has ZERO, that's right ZERO fiduciary duty to make sure that the anesthesia provider is following the law. Cool huh? You thought the hospital had some responsibility to make sure that their patients were being treated with respect and within the law didn't you? The hospital chooses this person, but when they screw up, the hospital has no responsibility. Be very aware of this little item...
When writing your letters, you need to take them to a Notary Public. Have them look at the letter and watch you place it in the envelope and seal it. This is an important step, which I didn't know. It doesn't cost much. Then have the letter delivered by the Post Office, via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This way, if it comes up later, you can show that a copy of THIS LETTER was mailed to THESE PEOPLE and here is the proof.
You are now done with the hospital and the anesthesia providers at the point of care. If you get lucky somebody will call you. If you were at one of the abattoirs the silence will be deafening. But there are other more fun things to do now!