The Medical Black Box

It is estimated that nearly 98,000 people die each year due to medical mistakes made by surgeons and hospitals. Many of these cases are never reported. Needless to say, a lack of transparency in the medical community has generated a lot attention from lawmakers. One of the most common questions asked, "how can we ensure doctors and hospitals are responsible for any medical mistakes made in surgery?"

Well the answer to that question may have arrived. The University of Toronto has released an invention that is described as an operating room's version of an airplane's 'black box.' The black box is used to record data aboard planes, and the University of Toronto's invention would record a surgeon's every move during an operation.

Collecting information, the device will help to shed light on surgical mistakes a surgeon may have made during an operation. New York and Wisconsin have already placed legislations that give patients the right to have video recordings made of surgical operations.

Wisconsin's law, named "Julie's Law," was formed after Julie Ribenzer who passed away during a routine breast augmentation operation after she was given four times the recommended amount of anesthesia. It was later discovered that her surgeon was unqualified to perform the operation and that the individual administering the anesthesia had had no certified medical training.

It may come as a surprise, but there are a handful of people, who like Julie Ribenzer go in for general procedures and pass away on the table at the hands of a medical mistake. Understandably, the medical black box invention has many lawmakers and attorneys advocating for its implementation and standardization in American operating rooms.

Their fight to get medical black boxes into operating rooms has been met with great resistance from hospitals. Legislation like "Julie's Law" was created to induce transparency that patients and their families deserve.

But even these laws have their limits. Introducing medical black boxes to operating rooms will help victims of medical malpractice and their families receive compensation they deserve. Furthermore, it will catch poor or irresponsible surgeons in practice and ensure that they are unable to harm future patients.

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