Monday, February 9, 2009

Where to start

If you have been harmed by Midazolam/Versed, the first thing to do is GET YOUR RECORDS. You will need to get these BEFORE you do anything else. The medical people are not above redacting, falsifying and otherwise altering your records. This is against the law, but medical people are lawless these days.
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!

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